April 7, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

America’s Newspapers Are An Essential Service

San Francisco and six Bay Area counties, with a combined population of nearly 7 million, are under “shelter-in-place” orders directing everyone to basically stay inside their homes for the next three weeks in hopes of suppressing the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the region.

It looks like many of us are going to be living under similar shelter-in-place orders sooner or later. Bedroom community New Rochelle, New York, has a “zone of containment,” and  at this writing, New York City’s mayor is considering an order sending everyone inside in The City That Never Sleeps, which will surely encourage other municipalities to issue their own shelter-in-place edicts. At the national level, there are doubtless officials who gaze longingly at the lockdowns ordered across Spain and Italy.

One key to shelter-in-place orders is that businesses that do not provide “essential” services must send workers home. Most coverage lists the essential services as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and vital services from police and firefighters to utility workers.

In California, newspapers are among the essential services exempt from shelter in place.

And that is exactly how it should be.

Dean Ridings

CEO America’s Newspapers

From The Stevens County Times publishers: Though we may be sheltering in place, the responsibility to give our community the news it needs continues – not just to help you through this stressful time safely, but to also show that life in our community goes on – that there is still something normal to grasp.