Press Release: Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Wednesday through Friday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Wednesday through Friday

Media Contacts: Adam Abadir: 301-221-1908; adam.abadir@baltimorecity.gov

BALTIMORE, MD (August 24, 2021) With temperatures expected to rise in the Baltimore region and the heat index forecasted to reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit the next few days, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa has issued a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert for Wednesday, August 25th through Friday, August 27th.  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 Alert declaration is made, 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 Wednesday, August 25th through Friday, August 27th from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.:

  • Oliver Center Senior Center 1700 Gay Street (410) 396-3861
  • Hatton Senior Center 2825 Fait Avenue (410) 396-9025 
  • Harford Senior Center 4920  Harford Rd.  (410) 426-4009
  • Sandtown Winchester Senior Center 1601 Baker St.  (410) 396-7725
  • Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging 4501 Reistertown Rd.   (410) 396-3535 

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 must wear a mask 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
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

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 all open except for Clifton Park and Liberty pools. 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.  After a 15-minute grace period, pool staff will accept walk-up participants.

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:
    • Confusion
    • Nausea
    • Lightheadedness
    • 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.

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.

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