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In late March, RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial economic shutdown, which was then extended until mid-May. Most virus-related restrictions were lifted over the summer, in what critics saw as an attempt to boost turnout at the July vote on constitutional amendments extending Putin’s rule. Coronavirus cases started rapidly growing again in the fall, hitting new records in daily new infections and deaths — doubling those set in the spring — but authorities have shunned another nationwide lockdown or a shutdown of the economy. By mid-December, Russia had the world’s fourth-largest tally of confirmed cases with over 2.6 million, and most regions introduced mild restrictions, such as ordering the elderly to self-isolate or limiting the hours of restaurants and bars. The country’s state coronavirus task force has reported more than 47,000 deaths in the pandemic, but Russia’s state statistics agency, Rosstat, says more than 78,000 people with COVID-19 had died by November, including cases in which the virus was not the main cause of death and others in which the coronavirus hadn’t been confirmed.

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Whether you’re hiking alone or with someone else, a trusted individual who’s not there should know where you’re headed and when you’re expecting to be back. This will allow them to alert authorities in a timely manner if you don’t return.

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