Temperatures are continuing to rise this week but there are ways for residents to stay safe from the heat.
The National Weather Services has issued an excessive heat warning on Monday, meaning temperatures are dangerously hot with heat index values between 110 and 115 degrees.
In response, James City County has opened a cooling center at the James City County Recreation Center.
But there are some adjustments; we’re still in a pandemic after all.
The cooling center will be operating under new protocols, such as social distancing, temperature checks, and spacing chairs six-feet apart, said Barbara Watson, social services assistant director.
Guests will have their temperature taken with a touchless thermometer before entering the building and if their temperature is above 100.4 then they will not be allowed to enter the building.
Watson said typically there are never more than about three people who take advantage of the cooling centers because they are designed for those without air conditioning in their homes and those who are homeless.
The cooling center provides an air conditioned location and a place for guests to sit down and will be open until 9 p.m. Monday.
For more information, call 757-259-4200.
“One of the most important precautions people should take is to schedule or reschedule activities and outdoor work until the coolest parts of the day,” according to the Virginia Department of Health’s news release. “In the summer, sunlight exposure is greatest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.”
The VDH released the following recommendations to protect yourself from the heat and heat-related illnesses:
- Keep cool in an air-conditioned area. Take a cool shower or a bath. Spending at least two hours per day in air conditioning significantly reduces the risk of heat- related illnesses. When temperatures reach the upper 90s or above, a fan may not prevent heat-related illness.
- Stay indoors or find a cooling center in your area on an extremely hot day.
- Drink plenty of fluids about 2-4 glasses of cool fluids each hour. To replace salt and minerals lost from sweating, drink fruit juice or a sports beverage during exercise or when you have to work outside. However, talk to your doctor first if you are on a fluid-restricted diet or medications, or on a low-salt diet.
- Avoid sunburn and wear light-colored clothing. Sunburn limits your body’s ability to keep itself cool and causes loss of body fluids. Use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater, and apply it at least 20 minutes before going outside.
- Lighter weight clothing that is loose fitting and light colored is more comfortable during extreme temperatures. Use a hat to keep the head cool.
- Give your body a break since extreme heat can be stressful on your body. Limit physical activity until your body adjusts to the heat.
- Never leave children or pets in cars. Temperatures inside a car can reach more than 150 degrees quickly, resulting in heat stroke and death.
- Use the “buddy system” if you are working outside. While working outside and you suffer a heat-related illness, you could become confused or could lose consciousness. Therefore, make sure someone else knows of your plans.
- Be sure to check on the elderly and neighbors without air conditioning.
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