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As we all continue to navigate these uncharted waters, dealing with the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak and spread, I want to briefly share the steps we are taking to keep our employee owners safe, our readers informed and to get out our advertisers’ messages.

As publisher of Woodward Community Media and its publications, including the Dyersville Commercial, Cascade Pioneer, Manchester Press and Telegraph Herald I know our products are an essential part of the communication system. I want you to know that we are working to keep our journalists reporting trusted, reliable facts as best we can in an extremely fluid situation.

While there is much speculation and misinformation on social media and spreading via “word of mouth,” we are using all the tools and contacts we have at our disposal to share the current status of the virus from recognized sources as well as medical and business recommendations from experts.

Additionally, we are working overtime to keep our media and communications businesses open and running to create and produce the important communication products and services our communities rely on. To help keep our employee owners at reduced risk for virus spread, we are prohibiting walk-in traffic at most locations while keeping phone and online options available and staffed.

Where possible, we have directed resources to areas that have a greater need, such as communicating those businesses that are open for business as well as those that are temporarily closed. And we are working hard to share those events that are canceled or postponed.

We are also keeping our physical papers in production (although, in some cases, scaled back in size) as well as our digital services (in the form of websites, e-newsletters, e-editions and alerts) updated on a frequent — sometimes hourly — basis. All this is in order to continue to provide a local, trusted location for health and business information.

To be clear — we are committed to producing and distributing a physical paper unless, or until, forces beyond our control prevent us from doing so. And we are taking steps to produce and distribute them in a safe manner.

If you have not already done so, there has never been a better and more important time for our subscribers to activate and use all the digital subscription options in order to access current updates as the situation evolves. If you have questions or need assistance in doing so, please contact us.

Also, there has never been a more important time to support our local businesses — while doing so in a safe and prudent manner. Our local businesses need your patronage.

We want to thank all of our employee owners for their hard work, dedication, understanding and flexibility as we work our way through this unprecedented situation. We have received many notes of appreciation from community members. I encourage you to share your words of support and encouragement as well with those employee owners with whom you come in contact.

Thanks to all of you, our subscribers, readers and advertisers, for your continued support as we persevere through these turbulent times.

Email Bob Woodward at Bob.Woodward@wcinet.com.