The novel coronavirus has us all on edge. Thus we want to fill you in on how the Knoxville Journal-Express 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 have closed our offices to the public, though we are still working and can be reached by phone or email. 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 and taking photos 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 by day. Stories about heroism, caring and helping hands.

Toward that end, please contact our newsroom at ehawk@pellachronicle.com, or through the Knoxville Journal-Express social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, 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. The 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 www.journalexpress.net. 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.

You can sign up online at www.journalexpress.net/subscriptions or call us at 641-842-2155. You can subscribe for as little as $2.99 per month to support local journalism in the community.

This is a special, caring community. We wish everyone good health and safekeeping. Please know that all of us at the Knoxville Journal-Express are committed to keeping you informed about the ever-expanding story of the coronavirus.

Becky Maxwell, Regional Publisher

Kyle Ocker, Regional Editor

Recommended for you