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Alexandrians Invited to Beat the Heat at ‘Cooling Centers’

Though narrowly missing historic records, Alexandria is still embroiled in a region-wide heatwave that has seen temperatures reach the upper 90s.

To help locals handle the heat, the City of Alexandria has announced that it is offering cooling centers to residents — areas where people can check-in and stay to avoid high midday temperatures.

The cooling centers will be available from Saturday, July 18, to Tuesday, July 21.

“Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures and high humidity can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, cramps, or in extreme cases, heatstroke,” the city said in a press release. “It is especially important for residents with underlying health issues to take extra precautions and plan ahead for this excessive heat event. During extended heat waves, people are advised to stay indoors and limit their exposure to the sun; drink plenty of water; and wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing.”

The hazardous weather outlook warning is in effect until Tuesday, July 21. Temperatures are expected to reach the upper 90s with heat indices approaching 105 degrees, the city warned.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, city staff will be screening visitors with a questionnaire and temperature check. Both staff and visitors will be required to wear face masks, maintain six feet of distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

Cooling centers are scheduled for the following locations

Saturday, July 18:

  • Leonard “Chick” Armstrong Recreation Center (25 W. Reed Ave.) — 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Mount Vernon Recreation Center (2701 Commonwealth Ave.) — 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.) — 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Patrick Henry Recreation Center (4653 Taney Ave.) — 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • William Ramsay Recreation Center (5650 Sanger Ave.) — 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.) — 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday, July 19:

  • William Ramsay Recreation Center (5650 Sanger Ave.) — 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.) — 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.) — 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Monday and Tuesday, July 20 and21

  • Oswald Durant Center (1605 Cameron St.) — 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • T.C. Williams High School Minnie Howard Campus (3801 W. Braddock Road) — 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

“Alexandrians are also encouraged to check on neighbors via phone or video chat who may be at risk or do not have access to air conditioning,” the city said. “Keep pets indoors as much as possible with plenty of freshwater, use caution when walking them on hot pavement, and do not leave pets or children in vehicles, even if the air conditioning is on.”

Photo via City of Alexandria

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