Across the Area

Friday’s coronavirus updates

THE LATEST information about the coronavirus crisis (Shutterstock).

Here’s Friday’s news related to the coronavirus crisis, local, state, national and international. This will be updated throughout the day, so check back often for the latest.

Local & State

• All OC Bus routes will temporarily shift to the Sunday service schedule seven days a week, beginning Monday, March 23, a reduction in service necessary to help protect the health of OCTA employees while providing reliability to riders who are still depending upon the OC Bus service.  The Sunday schedule, which is about 40 percent of the typical amount of weekday bus service, is listed by route on the www.OCBus.com website and in all OCTA bus books. The OC ACCESS paratransit system, for riders with physical or cognitive limitations, will continue to operate at full service levels.

• All department offices of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder are closed to the public and will remain so until further notice. Marriage services (licenses and wedding ceremonies) are also suspended. For more information, call (714) 834-2500 or go to www.OCRecorder.com .

• In Garden Grove, parks will remain open, but amenities such as restrooms, playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment, basketball and tennis courts will be off-limits.

• The Orange County Fire Authority – which provides fire and medic services for Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster locally – announced today (Friday) that a firefighter working at Station #4 in Irvine went home sick and tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). All 24 other firefighters who came in contact with him were placed in self-isolation at home.

• The number of coronavirus cases in Orange County has risen to 65 by Friday, according to the county health care agency. That’s up from 53 on Thursday. The first under-18 case has been reported, but there are still no fatalities.

National & International

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today (Friday) ordered all employers in the Empire State to keep workers at home, except for those involved in essential services, the Associated Press is reporting. Gatherings of any size are prohibited.

Illinois joined New York and California today (Friday) in asking people to “stay at home” and venture out only for essential services.

• The Dow Jones Industrial average fell over 900 points on Friday, ending the week down 17.3 percent.

To Our Readers

• Because of the sweeping changes going on due to reaction to the coronavirus, we are temporarily suspending three of our regular features: Monday Briefing, Prep Sport Spotlight (Tuesdays) and The Weekend (Friday). As you likely know, all high school sports have been called off and many entertainment events have been cancelled or postponed. We will resume our regular programming as soon as our world gets back to “normal.”

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