The sun is going to shine and temperatures across B.C. are expected to rise this weekend.
While hot weather can affect everyone’s health, seniors and persons with chronic poor health are most at risk. Here are some tips for keeping cool and COVID-19 safe.
- Protect yourself from the sun by staying in the shade, avoiding direct sun mid-day, wearing a hat and protective clothing, using sunscreen, and wearing UV-protective eyewear.
- Seek cooler, breezier areas when outdoors, such as large parks near to water with lots of trees.
- Stay hydrated – drink water regularly, even more than you think you need.
- Take it slow with outdoor activities – rest and relax often if you feel fatigued.
- Avoid crowded spaces and maintain a 2-meter distance from others as much as possible.
- NEVER leave children or pets alone in a parked car. Temperatures can rise rapidly in enclosed vehicles, becoming much hotter than the outdoor temperature.
- Seek out an air-conditioned facility (such as a shopping centre, library, community centre or restaurant).
- Check the website of your municipality for locations of air-conditioned facilities.
- At this time the risks from extreme heat exceed risks from COVID-19. While the Extreme Heat Alert is in place:
- No one should be denied access to these centres because of concerns about crowding or physical distancing.
- Make your home as comfortable as possible.
- Close blinds and shutters during the daytime and open them at night. Open your windows at night to let in cooler air. If you have children in your home, make sure you’ve taken precautions to prevent falls from windows and balconies.
- If you have air conditioning, use it to take the edge off indoor heat -- but don’t over-cool and remember that circulation of fresh air is important for reducing COVID-19 risk.
- If you don’t have air-conditioning, take shelter in the coolest room in your home and use a fan. Blowing a fan across a pan of ice water can create a cool breeze.
- Cool showers and misting yourself and your clothing with cool water will help keep you from overheating
- Stay hydrated---drink water regularly, even more than you think you need.
- Relatives, friends, and neighbours should check in regularly with vulnerable people by phone or video.
Those who are wearing a mask and have difficulty breathing are advised to remove their mask and catch their breath, whether they are indoors or outside.
There are a variety of mild to severe symptoms linked with heat-related illness, including thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion, weakness, fainting, collapsing and even death. First aid includes cooling and hydration. If illness is severe, call 911.
PHSA media line: 778-867-7472