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City Officials Urge Residents to Stay Safe in the Heat

For Immediate Release: 7/19/2022 3:07 pm

WORCESTER – The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Wednesday, July 20, and heat index values are expected to top 90 through at least Sunday, July 24. City leaders advise residents to use caution to stay cool and safe during the week’s high temperatures, as well as throughout the remainder of the summer.

Where to Say Cool

Worcester’s municipal and state beaches and spray parks—with the exceptions of Indian Lake Beach and East Spray Park—will remain open to the public every day from 12 – 7 p.m. A full list of locations can be found at www.worcesterma.gov/parks/activities/beaches-pools-spray-parks.

Residents are also encouraged to stay cool by visiting any of the Worcester Public Library’s seven branches throughout the city. The Main Branch at 3 Salem Square is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., and Thursday – Monday from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Locations and hours for all other branches can be found at www.mywpl.org/?q=locations-hours.

The Worcester Senior Center will also be open to the public, from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, and Friday, July 22.

Safety Tips

City officials remind residents that prolonged exposure to high temperatures and humidity impact the body’s natural cooling systems and can lead to elevated body temperature and risk of illness. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, any individual can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Summertime activity must be balanced with measures that aid the body’s cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness.

The most common heat-related illnesses are heat stroke (sun stroke), heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rash, and residents are advised to take the following precautions to stay safe:

  • Never leave people or pets unattended in a parked car.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level, to stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
  • If possible, stay in an air-conditioned space.
  • Use fans as needed and open windows to allow fresh air to circulate when appropriate.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • During the hottest parts of the day, keep physical activities to a minimum and stay indoors in air-conditioning and out of the sun. Limit outdoor activities to morning or evening hours.
  • Use cool compresses, misting, showers, and baths to beat the heat.
  • Check on your friends, neighbors, and relatives.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

What to Do in Case of Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion

Heat stroke, which occurs when the body cannot control its temperature, may result in disability or death if emergency treatment is not given. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses a large amount of water and salt contained in sweat.

Warning signs of heat stroke vary, but may include:

  • Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, orally)
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dizziness, nausea, and confusion
  • Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache

If you suspect you or someone else is suffering from heat stroke, immediately dial 9-1-1 or get the individual to a hospital. Use any available means to cool down the body, but do not give the person anything to drink.

Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary, but may include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Paleness, tiredness, dizziness
  • Muscle cramps

If you notice signs of heat exhaustion, get the affected individual to a cooler location immediately, cool down by taking sips of water or a sports drink, and seek medical assistance if symptoms persist.

Learn more about the signs of heat-related illness at www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html, and get additional tips and resources at www.ready.gov/heat.

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Worcester 311
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Phone: 311
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