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City of London opens 2 cooling centres during first heat warning amid coronavirus pandemic

The Canada Games Aquatic Centre at 1045 Wonderland Rd. N.
The Canada Games Aquatic Centre at 1045 Wonderland Rd. N. Sawyer Bogdan/Global News Radio 980 CFPL

Amid the first heat warning of the year — and the first under the novel coronavirus pandemic — the City of London is opening two cooling centres to provide relief from the heat while area organizations are collaborating to increase outreach.

Environment Canada issued a heat warning for London and Middlesex County on Monday, as the forecast called for highs around 30 C with humidex values climbing to 37.

READ MORE: Summer weather arrives in London, Ont., as city sees first heat warning of the year

The city says the Canada Games Aquatic Centre at 1045 Wonderland Rd. N. and the South London Community Centre at 1119 Jalna Blvd. will both be open between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday to provide an indoor cooling space and water. However, other amenities in the centres will not be open.

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All provincial and local health guidelines and appropriate measures will be in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the city says.

The city also provided a list of community agencies collaborating “to support those accessing their services during the extreme heat,” including:

  • Co-ordinated Informed Response program — offering refreshments and snacks where needed
  • London Cares — increasing outreach presence and providing water to people in the core
  • Youth Opportunities Unlimited — opening to provide services for fewer than five people at a time; water will be available at the Youth Action Centre
  • Atlohsa — providing a resting space through referrals from downtown outreach teams, increasing water and snack distribution
  • The Ark — providing supports for fewer than five people at a time and curbside pickup for water and snacks
  • Canadian Mental Health Association — distributing water through My Sisters’ Place

READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada

“I’m pleased to see the quick response and high level of collaboration to ensure London’s most vulnerable are supported in the midst of these unseasonably high temperatures,” said London Mayor Ed Holder.

“Together, we share a deep commitment to keeping Londoners safe during these extraordinary times, made even more challenging by the impending heat.”

Coronavirus outbreak: An eerie look at empty cities around the world
Coronavirus outbreak: An eerie look at empty cities around the world

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.