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Cooling centers open for warm week, social distancing protocol in place

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — With temperatures in the Salt Lake Valley expected to reach triple-digits, a pair of cooling centers are reopening. They’re located at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy and the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Come to the cooling centers

The cooling centers are air-conditioned, indoor spaces open to the public. Organizers say anyone seeking a break from the heat can visit in order to cool off, hydrate and stay safe.

Both locations will be open from noon to 7 p.m., through Sunday, August 23.

They are also encouraging residents to look out for each other and check on neighbors. According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, those who are older or have chronic conditions are most at risk during periods of extreme heat.

The county health department has provided a few tips to stay safe during the extreme heat, which includes:

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
• Wear appropriate clothing; light-colored and lightweight fabrics work best.
• Stay indoors during midday when outside temperatures are hottest, usually between noon and 3:00 p.m.
• Take it easy, avoiding exercise and strenuous activity when it’s hottest outside.
•Know the warning signs of heat-related illness, which include dizziness, nausea, rapid heart rate, chest pain and difficulty breathing.

The daily high temperature in Salt Lake City is expected to stay above 100-degrees Monday through Wednesday. Residents will get a small “break” the remainder of the week as daily high’s hover around 98 to 99-degrees.

Stay safe from the heat… and COVID-19

Organizers admit that getting people inside on scorching summer days isn’t as simple as it used to be. During a global pandemic, they want to keep everyone safe from COVID-19, but also make sure they have a responsible way for people to escape the dangerously high temps. 

With that in mind, they say social distancing protocols will be enforced inside the facilities.

Additionally, all visitors are required to wear a face covering. People with symptoms of illness should refrain
from coming to the cooling centers.