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Clearly, the coronavirus is not going away anytime soon.

Many places across the country and around the globe are reporting record numbers of positive tests. More than a million people have died, including 216,000 in the United States alone.

Here in Indiana, the virus is surging. A new daily high of 1,960 new cases was reported Wednesday.

And in Madison County, the grim toll continues to rise. The Madison County Department of Health reports that nine residents of Countryside Manor have died since a coronavirus outbreak at the nursing home occurred in late September.

On Wednesday, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that the state’s mask mandate would continue. That’s the right call.

Increasingly, health experts are learning that wearing a breathing mask is the single best way to reduce the spread of the virus.

Social distancing, avoiding indoor crowds, washing hands frequently and other measures mitigate the risk of infection, as well.

As much as we’d all like to go back to normal, we have to accept the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t let our guard down.

You can see examples across the county of people heeding the warning signs and taking action to protect themselves and others they encounter.

Anderson Community Schools made the difficult decision to delay a return to all in-person classes. Officials cited a high rate of positive tests in the county.

Local organizations have found new ways to raise funds, to stage virtual events and to provide services without endangering the public.

But, really, when it comes down to it, the only way to beat the coronavirus is for each one of us to take responsibility.

Are you doing your part?

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