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As Madison County turns blue in regard to its rating on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, we owe a great deal of gratitude to Madison County’s health department, health care workers and residents who pulled together to get through this arduous journey.

As Madison County Health Department administrator Stephenie Grimes said, “Now is not the time to relent.”

The first COVID-19 case in Indiana was confirmed a little less than a year ago — March 6, 2020, to be exact. On March 18, 2020, The Herald Bulletin reported the first positive case in Madison County.

Last Easter was celebrated during the peak of the shutdown, and many summer activities were wiped off the calendar as well.

In the fall, we had a second wave of cases, with some experts saying that we had become too lax with the restrictions or had rushed too soon to get back to normal.

Many holiday travel plans were canceled, and children had socially distanced visits with Santa Claus at the mall.

As Easter approaches again, we are seeing a break in the dark clouds that have hung over the past year.

We thank our county health department for working with this newspaper and other local media to keep county residents informed. We thank our health care workers for putting their own lives on the line to help others in these unprecedented times.

We urge all of our readers to take precautions, abide by safety recommendations and get the vaccine.

It seems that the end is in sight, but this journey is far from over, and we must continue to be vigilant to end this pandemic as soon as possible.

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