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Local news, information matters to help us all be safe

By BOB ROLLEY and LANA MUTHLER

Dear readers, the past few weeks have been full of uncertainty for all of us when it comes to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Today we want to provide you with an update on how we have been covering the crisis here at The Express community newspaper and the information we have made available so you and your loved ones can remain up-to-date and be prepared in the coming weeks.

We also want to report the precautions we are taking against the coronavirus.

First, internally, a good portion of our staff members are now working from home, with only essential employees at our main office in downtown Lock Haven on a rotating basis.

Our reporters, with precautions, remain vigilant in bringing the latest and most important local news to you each day in print and online at www.lockhaven.com, along with our social media page.

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 may continue to bring you the latest local news on how COVID-19 is affecting and altering our way of life.

Second, we have devoted nearly all of our reporting resources to coverage of the coronavirus.

Since it began, we have produced dozens and dozens of local stories on how the virus is impacting our region.

We have stayed in touch with all of the health systems-hospitals in our region – UPMC, Geisinger and Mount Nittany – with updates on how they are handling this crisis and the latest developments coming out of them, such as UPMC’s announcement this week of progress toward a vaccination and toward being able, on a limited basis, to test people at home.

We have reported on the safety and readiness of our food supply at grocery and other food stores.

We have looked into and reported on how funerals are being handled now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires Americans to limit gatherings and Gov. Tom Wolf has urgently asked residents to ‘stay home.”

We have spoken with local restaurants on how they are adjusting to life with only delivery or to-go customers.

We have kept in close touch with our local education community and provided updated news on schools and lunch programs for children.

We have provided a daily list of cancellations and postponements of public events and gatherings so that you can remain informed.

We have many other important local stories planned in the coming days.

We are publishing and posting additional tips and strategies parents can use to help their children 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.

We are listing the latest number of virus cases locally, regionally, statewide, nationally and globally on a daily basis.

Last, we ask that you and your loved ones stay safe as we collectively go through this challenging time.

We strongly urge you to adhere to the restrictions to “stay at home.”

We offer unending praise to our physicians, medical researchers, other health-care workers and our emergency first-responders who are our front line in the war against this invisible enemy.

Please … stay at home if you can.

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 pledge t work each day to remain your trusted local news source.

Robert O. “Bob” Rolley Jr. is publisher of The Express community newspaper. Lana Muthler is The Express’ managing editor. They can be emailed at brolley@lockhaven.com and lmuthler@lockhaven.com, respectively.

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