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A message to our readers about the COVID-19 pandemic

Dear reader:

The last few weeks have been full of uncertainty for many of you here in Hamilton County when it comes to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and we wanted today to provide you with an update on how we’ve been covering the crisis here at The Daily Freeman-Journal and the resources we have made available so you and your loved ones can remain up-to-date and prepared in the coming weeks.

First, internally, most of our office staff is now working from home, with only essential employees at our main office and printing facility. Our reporters will still be out and about covering events and bringing the latest and most important local news to you each day. Just as you are with your families, we are assessing each day how best we can keep our employees safe and healthy so that they can continue to bring you the latest local news on how COVID-19 is affecting and altering our way of life.

Second, we’ve devoted nearly all of our reporting resources to coverage of the coronavirus. Over the past week, for example, we’ve produced more than 50 unique local stories on how the virus is impacting our region. We’ve looked into how funerals are being handled now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are requiring Americans to limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people; we’ve told the story of how local health officials are planning for the crisis even though we still have no positive tests in Hamilton County. We’ve spoken with local high school athletes about the suspension of spring sports and activities; and we’ve provided a daily list of cancellations and postponements of public events and other gatherings so that you can remain informed.

We have many other important local stories planned for the coming days including additional tips and strategies parents can use to help their students adapt to learning in a virtual environment now that universities and public and private secondary schools have canceled in-person classes; how the closure of businesses is affecting families that may now find one if not both parents out of work; and how local hospitals are dealing with an increase in patients that may have come in contact with the coronavirus.

Last, we ask that you and your loved ones stay safe as we collectively go through this challenging time. We will do our part to keep you as up-to-date as possible with local news from a staff that you can trust. Local news matters, now more than ever, and we work each day, in all that we do, to remain your trusted local news source.

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