Boston to open cooling centers to deal with expected heat wave

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has declared a heat emergency in the city beginning on Sunday when temperatures are expected to feel like they’re between 95 and 102 degrees.

To help residents stay cool, Boston Centers for Youth & Families community centers will be open to the public as cooling centers on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The City’s two outdoor pools, BCYF Clougherty Pool in Charlestown and the BCYF Mirabella Pool in the North End, will be open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Visitors must register for a swim time slot at Boston.gov/BCYF-Summer.

”We are opening our cooling centers for all residents to have the option to come in and cool off in air conditioning,” said Walsh. “In addition, we’ll have two outdoor pools open that are open for Boston residents. I want to remind everyone that COVID-19 is still a threat. Everyone needs to keep doing their part to avoid large crowds and wear your face covering, unless you’re in the water.”

Twenty-one BCYF community centers will be open for residents to use the air conditioned rooms to cool off. A full list of centers including hours of operation is available here.

Due to COVID-19 public health regulations, residents are advised to call before visiting to confirm occupancy limits.

All cooling center visitors will be screened before entry and must wear a face covering (covering both the nose and mouth), maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Visitors must bring their own water bottles and water, and must limit belongings to one small bag.

Occupancy will be monitored to ensure it doesn’t exceed 40 percent of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy to maintain proper distancing and the spaces will be regularly cleaned and disinfected hourly.

The City’s two outdoor pools, the BCYF Clougherty Pool in Charlestown and the BCYF Mirabella Pool in the North End, are now open seven days a week through Labor Day from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Information on heat safety tips can be found online at boston.gov/heat and by following @CityofBoston on Twitter.

Residents can also sign up for Alert Boston, the city’s emergency notification system, to receive emergency alerts by phone, email or text.

Residents are also encouraged to call 311 with any questions about available city services.

Walsh also issued the following heat safety tips for all members of the public:

  • Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicles, even for short periods of time.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids regardless of activity level. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine.
  • Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-30 or higher and wear protective, loose-fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats.
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas and be extra cautious from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the sun's UV radiation is strongest.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, and muscle aches could all be signs of heat exhaustion. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately. Do not delay care. Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the US and can exacerbate underlying illnesses.
  • Please call or virtually check on neighbors, especially older adults, and people with disabilities.

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