Philadelphia officials have declared a Heat Health Emergency for Monday, when temperatures are expected to reach 98 degrees with a heat index of 106 in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Public pools are closed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and budgetary constraints. Some city-run cooling centers will be open, albeit fewer than in years past.
“The best thing that we can do to help our family members, neighbors, and loved ones is to use this time to check on them,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement Sunday. “This can be done socially distanced, by phone or—if they are tech savvy enough—by video.”
The heat emergency will begin Monday at 8:30 a.m. and run through midnight, though it could be extended, officials said.
Cooling sites will operate at the following locations between 1 and 5 p.m. Monday:
- Haddington Library, 446 N. 65th St.
- Lillian Marrero Library, 601 W. Lehigh Ave.
- Logan Library 1333 Wagner Ave.
- West Philadelphia High School, 49th and Chestnut Streets
- Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts, 1901 N. Front St.
People who visit the cooling centers must wear masks and abide by social distancing rules.
In addition, air-conditioned SEPTA buses will be stationed during the same time period at Germantown and Allegheny avenues; Wyoming and Rising Sun avenues; Frankford and Allegheny avenues; and 52nd Street and Larchwood Avenue.
More than 90 spraygrounds at local parks will be open for children who need to cool off.
The Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging will run a hotline for the duration of the emergency declaration. Nurses will be available to answer questions about heat-related medical problems. The number is 215-765-9040.
Early signs of heat stress include decreased energy, loss of appetite, faintness, lightheadedness and nausea, according to the health department.
Get immediate medical attention if you begin experiencing unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, throbbing headache, dry skin, chest pain, mental confusion, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, staggering or difficulty breathing, the health department said in a statement.
Officials said older adults, people with chronic conditions, pregnant women and small children are among the groups most at-risk for heat-related illness.
Residents without air conditioning should try to visit a friend or family member, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., when it’s hottest, according to the health department.
Temperatures won’t let up much on Tuesday, with a high of 94 degrees in the forecast.