After nearly six months of adjusting our lives to the reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many of us believe we’ve heard it all.

There are still debates about how safe it is to operate various businesses and whether schools should reopen. We’re considering ways to oversee sporting events for youths as well as professionals.

New York state has reported a decline in the rate of infections, hospitalizations and deaths over the past month. This is excellent news. It’s a result that came about due to the concerted effort of scores of individuals who committed themselves to behaving responsibly.

So it’s easy to tune out much of the noise still being made.

This is understandable as we can’t imagine what’s left that we haven’t yet digested about this crisis.

However, we need to avoid becoming complacent. If this occurs, we risk slipping back into old habits that may prove hazardous.

The town and village of Canton recently set a very example of ensuring residents remain aware of commonsense safety protocols. Officials launched Canton Cares to remind people of how COVID-19 can affect them and what they should do to reduce their chances of becoming infected.

“Canton Cares follows a campaign launched earlier this summer by the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, I Wear a Mask to Protect,” according to a story published Aug. 24 in the Watertown Daily Times. “The county initiative began with a Health Department workgroup creating a poster template that reads: ‘I wear a mask to protect …’ Public health staff filled in their own responses, and the template has since been distributed online and to businesses. Community members have shared their responses with the department over the last month, and posters and billboards featuring responses are now peppered throughout the county.”

This campaign has a simple yet vitally important message: This crisis is not over, and we must stay vigilant to keep everyone safe.

“We want everyone who lives in Canton and anyone visiting our community to understand our very clear message: Canton is a mask-wearing community,” village Mayor Michael E. Dalton said in the article. “We are serious about protecting one another, and we expect this of anyone coming to our community.”

We all need to remember how important it is to wear masks when out in public and remain at least 6 feet away from other people whenever possible. Here are some other safety measures that health officials began recommending earlier this year:

n Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

n Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

n Stay home when you are sick.

n Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

n Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

n Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

Keeping these safety practices in mind will reduce our chances of becoming ill. We commend those behind the Canton Cares campaign for promoting good public health. Let’s reward their efforts by following these guidelines and keeping the coronavirus at bay.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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