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To our readers:

The novel coronavirus has us all on edge. Thus we want to fill you in on how the Suwannee Democrat, The Jasper News and Mayo Free Press staff is hard at work covering the story locally to inform you with accurate and timely news about the disease.

We, like you, are dealing with a public health and economic crisis the dimensions of which we have never experienced before. We understand the frustrations over not knowing when it will end, and why it is vitally important to credibly report local aspects of the pandemic.

In the interest of caution and safety, we’ve asked our newsroom and other staff to work from home whenever possible, with the exception of those employees necessary to the production and distribution of the newspaper.

Reporters working remotely are checking with state and local government and health officials throughout the day for information on how the outbreak affects your public safety, schools, businesses, eateries, events, health care facilities and other everyday activities.

They are diligently asking questions and writing stories, taking photos and shooting video to keep apace of breaking news, reporting COVID-19 cases, and providing useful information such as hours grocery stores, pharmacies, churches and parks are open. How to talk to your children about the virus, and ways to keep them entertained.

It is our intent to be your primary source of local information on the coronavirus, a responsibility we take seriously.

But we cannot do it alone. We need your questions and concerns. We need you to share your stories of coping or helping others in this time of need; how your family is getting along day to day. Stories about heroism, caring and helping hands.

Toward that end, please contact our newsroom at,, or you can message us at or on Twitter at @suwaneedemocra or @jlwachter to widen our local coverage.

We want to inform you, not scare you. We are in this stressful time together, and together we can get through it.

We pursue this goal despite the economic impact the crisis has on our bottom line. Loss of advertising revenue from reduced business activity and closed stores is real.

As an essential source of information in this emergency, we need all hands on deck. That’s a cost we cannot furlough as every subscriber to our print and digital platforms is valuable. And we need to be there for every one of them.

In order to provide a public service to the community during the crisis, we have given non-subscribers access to our website’s breaking news coverage of the coronavirus at It is our hope they too will find the information useful and consider a subscription to the site to help defray the cost of our local coverage. That can be done by emailing

This is a special, caring community. We wish everyone good health and safe keep. Please know that all of us at the Suwannee Democrat, The Jasper News and Mayo Free Press are committed to keeping you informed about the ever-expanding story of the coronavirus.

— Publisher Jeff Masters and Editor Jamie Wachter

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