New public service announcement banners have appeared on Main Street in Sag Harbor urging residents and visitors alike to continue to take precautions against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The banners, which urge people to “Mask Up,” “Vax to the Max,” and “Get Tested,” appeared on lampposts along Main Street in the business district shortly after Christmas.
They are the work of Bob Weinstein, a marketing and branding executive, who reached out to village government, offering to do an update of two previous COVID-19 awareness campaigns he did for the village. His offer came just as Mayor Jim Larocca had decided in the face of the rapid spread of the omicron variant to order Village Board meetings to revert to remote broadcasts over Zoom for the foreseeable future.
The mayor said the banners will help keep the need for continued vigilance on people’s minds.
“They are eye-catching and will raise awareness about the importance of masking, vaxxing, and testing,” the mayor said.
Weinstein said the messages on the three different banners, which have also been printed on posters and distributed to local businesses, are intended to be more factual and not necessarily have the emotional appeal of the original banner campaign, which featured a number of local public figures wearing masks in photographs taken by Michael Heller. Weinstein also designed a series of banners that had a Christmas theme for last year’s holiday season as well as special banners for the John Jermain Memorial Library and the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum.
Weinstein said the PSA campaign aims to reinforce messaging that the federal Centers for Disease Control has been putting out to the public. Given the rapid spread of the omicron variant, it is important to keep that message front and center, he said.
Both the banners and posters also have QR codes on them, which can be scanned on a cellphone for more information.