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Philadelphia will open a limited number of cooling centers as scorching temperatures combine with high humidity to make for potentially deadly conditions as a brutal heat wave sets in.
The cooling center sites will be different than in past years and will have social distancing and mask standards in place as they open amid the coronavirus pandemic. The centers will open beginning Monday, when the city’s heat health emergency kicks in.
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The following sites will be open between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday:
- Haddington Library at 446 N. 65th Street
- Lillian Marrero Library at 601 W. Lehigh Avenue
- Logan Library 1333 Wagner Avenue
- West Philadelphia High School at 49th and Chestnut Streets
- Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts at 1901 N. Front Street
SEPTA Cooling Buses
- Germantown and Allegheny Avenues
- Wyoming and Rising Sun Avenues
- Frankford and Allegheny Avenues
- 52nd Street and Larchwood Avenue
Residents who can do so are also encouraged to visit any of the city’s 92 spraygrounds.
As part of the heat health emergency, which kicks in at 8:30 a.m. Monday and lasts through at least midnight, the city is also activating the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s heat helpline. The line is staffed by health care professionals that can deploy a relief team to go check on an individual. The line's number is 215-765-9040.
Additional aid will also be provided to people experiencing homelessness.
The heat wave began Sunday but will linger for days. Monday could see “feels like” temperatures reaching 110 degrees.
The heat will be especially intense in Philadelphia and other urban areas like Trenton and Wilmington where, with temps not really dropping out of the 80s overnight, the urban heat island effect (where concrete, asphalt and buildings remain hotter) can be really rough on the body.
Be sure to stay inside a safe place in air conditioning and open windows and use fans if you don't have A/C in your home. If you're using a fan, the EPA warns that windows or a door should be open to the outside; otherwise, you're just recirculating hot air, which is more dangerous.
You should watch for signs of heat-related illness, which include headaches, nausea, dizziness and excessive sweating.
Stay hydrated, too. During a heat health emergency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you drink water even when you're not thirsty.
Don't forget to check in on the vulnerable, including kids, the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions.
Below, you can find cooling centers in other parts of the region.
Chester County, Pa.
Coatesville Children, Youth and Women’s Alliance (CYWA)
- 384 East Lincoln Highway
- Phone number: 610-384-9591
- Available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Crossroads Recovery Center
- 825 Paoli Pike
- Phone number: 610-429-1702, Ext. 108
- Available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
St. Agnes Dayroom
- 233 West Gay Street,
- Phone number: 610-429-0697
- Available July 20-24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Distributing water and fans while supplies last
Camden County, NJ
Officials encourage people to visit air-conditioned places like malls or the Cherry Hill Library. However, Cherry Hill Public Library spokeswoman Suzanne Fox noted that the library is only allowing a maximum of 50 people for 30 minutes at a time to adhere to social distancing guidelines.