Editor’s note: This editorial expresses the views of the Log Cabin Democrat. The editorial board is composed of Frank Leto, Jeanette Anderton and Alex Kienlen.

The Log Cabin Democrat wishes everyone a happy Fourth of July.

We encourage everyone to celebrate Independence Day safely. State experts have released guidelines on how to do so.

For those who take to the lake for the holiday, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offers safety tips for boaters, noting they will be “ramping up enforcement efforts this weekend as part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign to reduce instances of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” The AGFC reported seeing “a huge increase” in activities on the Natural State’s waters this year and reminds everyone to practice safe boating habits and social distancing.

The Arkansas Department of Health released safety tips about fireworks, food, heat and COVID-19. A complete list is available at healthy.arkansas.gov.

For fireworks, the ADH recommends the public follow instructions on labels, have an adult supervise firework activity and use fireworks only in a clear outdoor area away from vehicles and buildings.

The ADH said to use an insulated cooler for food outdoors, noting in weather at or above 90 degrees, food should never sit out for more than an hour.

The ADH recommends staying in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day, especially young children or senior citizens, and to drink water often while outside in the heat.

The ADH reminds Arkansans “to wear face coverings in both indoor and outdoor environments where they are exposed to non-household members and unable to maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others.”

Face masks should cover the mouth and nose. People are also urged to wash their hands often. Anyone with a fever, cough or shortness of breath should avoid contact with others and seek a COVID-19 test.

Independence Day is a federal holiday commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America on July 4, 1776.

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