For more than a month the nation has received regular updates on the coronavirus pandemic from a task force that includes President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and others. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the affable director of the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease, and Deborah Birx, chairwoman of the task force, have become household names.

While the regular national briefings are informative and interesting, it’s equally as important that citizens are provided updates at the local level.

In this area, Marinette County is the runaway leader in that regard.

The triumvirate of Public Health Nurse Molly Bonjean, Emergency Management Administrator Eric Burmeister and Emergency Management Coordinator Kathy Frank are providing weekly updates to local media, including the EagleHerald, which in turn are reporting the news to their readers and listeners.

The Marinette County team has emphasized the importance of social distancing, maintaining good hygiene practices and, basically, not letting down our guard.

“People can be contagious 48 hours even before they start showing symptoms,” Bonjean said in a recent update. “I think it would make people take this more seriously if they knew that people could be walking around the community, completely healthy, and be contagious.”

She has emphasized that the number of cases in the community account for only 10% of the cases circulating. If there are seven confirmed cases, that means there are 70 cases circulating. 

Burmeister said some people still have the mentality that the virus “isn’t that bad” — a concept that is hard to comprehend considering the statistics presented at the local, state, national and world levels.

Marinette County also is keeping residents informed on the home page of its website. A simple click on the red box that reads “COVID-19 INFORMATION LINK” allows readers to obtain statistics, news releases and links to other pertinent information.

The leaders of Marinette County — Administrator John Lefebvre, Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison, Human Resource Director Jennifer Holtger and others — have been busy managing the pandemic as it relates to county government, the legal ramifications and its workforce.

Lefebvre told the county board of supervisors Tuesday that he is trying to recover as much funding as possible for COVID-19 related expenses. The board approved a telecommuting policy that allows employees who feel safer working from home to do so, as long as they have approval from the proper authorities.   

About half of the county workers are working remotely, according to Lefebvre, and that makes it difficult as many of the offices they work in normally would be open to the public. 

But nothing is normal now. These are trying times that nobody has gone through before.

We applaud Marinette County officials for doing a commendable job in keeping the public informed during this difficult period.