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Publisher's Notebook: Local news matters

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News partnership

Kari Borgen, the publisher of The Astorian, and Graham Nystrom, the station manager at Coast Community Radio, have agreed to a news partnership on coronavirus coverage.

By now, you’re as weary as we are of COVID-19 dominating every aspect of our lives.

Truth is, though, there is news every day, usually every hour, that our communities need to know in order to make decisions with their families on how to protect their health, find services or help their neighbors.

That’s why newspapers are an essential service. We have remained at work this past week — armed with disinfectant and social distancing — sourcing and delivering local news, business information and answering your questions.

Our press and distribution facility prints and prepares not just The Astorian, but 10 other weekly newspapers that also need to get to their communities in Long Beach, Washington; Seaside; Warrenton; Cannon Beach and Manzanita; Tillamook; Lincoln City; Clatskanie; St. Helens and Wahkiakum, Washington.

Local news matters.

You need to know that we plan to keep printing these newspapers as long as we are not mandated to close. Our postmasters are prepared to deliver these newspapers for as long as they are allowed. “Until they tell me I can’t,” said Astoria postmaster Philip Padfield.

We’re in this together.

But as the events of the past week have shown us, sometimes that decision will not be ours to make. Your subscription to The Astorian includes free digital access to our website — — and our e-edition, the online replica of our printed edition. You can also access both of those digital news sites through our breaking news and e-edition apps on your smartphone.

But you need to sign up to get access to those features. We’ve produced a help video on our page to help you register, or call us at 800-781-3214. A live person will answer the phone and answer your questions so that you can get complete access online. Take the step to register online to be sure that you will always have access to local news at

Especially in times of uncertainty, local news matters. That’s why we’ve announced a news partnership with Coast Community Radio to share content and resources in print, on air and online to provide up-to-date, accurate, vetted and credible information. KMUN will read our stories on air, and we’ll host the six-minute KMUN local news program on our website They’ll share stories at Teamwork works.

You’ll find online and in print a grid listing local businesses that are open, their hours and services during the government restrictions. We’re providing the listings free to any business who needs to get the word out that they’re open for business. Please patronize them. We all need to do what we can to support one another as so many in Clatsop County will be faced with reduced income.

Speaking of reduced income, as our advertising dollars shrink with every event cancellation, we appreciate the continued support of our subscribers and advertisers who believe as we do that local news matters. If you’re not subscribing or advertising, I hope you’ll consider it.

Starting Monday, our office will be closed to the public except by appointment. We are still available to help you. Call us at 503-325-3211 to talk to us or make an appointment, look for our contact information at, or email me at

Kari Borgen is publisher of The Astorian.

Kari Borgen is publisher of The Astorian. Reach her at 503-325-4955 or

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Coronavirus FAQ

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals, such as washing your hands and maintaining good hygiene.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets.

What about imported animals or animal products?

CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States.

What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported from outside the United States?

At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets and service animals, can spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently imported from another country.

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