Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Monday and Tuesday
Sunday Jul 26th, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Adam Abadir: 301-221-1908; firstname.lastname@example.org
BALTIMORE, MD (July 26, 2020)
With heat indices expected to reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Baltimore region for the next couple of days, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa has issued a Code Red Extreme Health Alert for Monday, July 27th through Tuesday, July 28th. The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity and indicates how hot it feels to the human body.
“Excessive heat is the leading weather-related killer in the United States. The effects of extreme heat are exacerbated in urban areas, especially when combined with high humidity and poor air quality,” said Dr. Dzirasa. “Extreme heat is particularly dangerous for young children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. I encourage all residents to take the necessary steps to protect themselves as well as their families, neighbors, and pets.”
The Health Commissioner may declare a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert during periods of heat that are severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore residents. Once a Code Red Extreme Heat declaration is made, public messaging activities are undertaken to encourage safety. Even on days when a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is not declared, it is important to take precautions.
The Health Department’s Division of Aging will open the following locations as cooling centers on Monday, July 27th and Tuesday, July 28th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.:
- Waxter Center for Senior Citizens 1000 Cathedral Street (410) 396-1324
- Oliver Center Senior Center 1700 Gay Street (410) 396-3861
- Hatton Senior Center 2825 Fait Avenue (410) 396-9025
- John Booth Senior Center 2601-A East Baltimore Street (410) 396-9202
- Harford Senior Center 4920 Harford Road (410) 426-4009
- Sandtown Winchester Senior Center 1601 Baker Street (410) 396-7725
- Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging 4501 Reisterstown Road (410) 396-3535
The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks will also open the following locations as cooling centers on Monday, July 27th and Tuesday, July 28th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.:
- Mary E. Rodman Recreation Center- 3600 Mulberry Street 410-396-0477
- Robert C. Marshall Recreation Center- 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue 410-396-8490
- James D. Gross Recreation Center- 4600 Lanair Avenue 410-396-0755
Additionally, ShopRite Howard Park (4601 Liberty Heights Ave., 21207) will be open as a community cooling center during their regular hours.
Residents who want to visit a cooling center to seek relief from the heat are encouraged to call the cooling center prior to arrival to ensure space is available. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, residents who visit a cooling center are reminded to wear a cloth mask in public and maintain social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet apart from others when possible.
You should not visit a cooling center if you have the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your symptoms.
The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks pools are open. All guests must register in advance online or by phone to secure a pool reservation. Guests are advised to arrive 15 minutes prior to their reservation to check-in.
During the Code Red Extreme Heat season, the Baltimore City Health Department recommends that City residents:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Reduce outside activities.
- Stay inside during the hottest time of day (11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).
- Seek relief from the heat in air-conditioned locations.
- Check on older, sick, or frail people in your community who may need help in the heat.
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles, even for short periods of time.
- Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Seek medical help immediately if these symptoms occur:
- High body temperature with cool and clammy skin
- Hot, dry, flushed skin
- Rapid or slowed heartbeat
City residents who want cooling center information on Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days can call 311. Individuals having a heat-related medical emergency, or who are experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke should call 911.
Baltimore City still has FREE fans to give to adults over the age of 55 and adults with disabilities. Older residents or caregivers can call Maryland Access Point at 410-396-CARE to see if they qualify for a free box fan.
Information on declared Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days will be shared on the Health Department’s website, Health Department social media (Twitter: @Bmore_Healthy and Facebook: @BaltimoreHealth), the Baltimore City 311 line, and with local news media.