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No plans to open cooling centres in Guelph, Waterloo Region during heat wave

Unseasonably warm weather forecast for Montreal raises concerns for vulnerable populations
The last week of May is expected to be a scorcher in Montreal, with temperatures reaching in to the mid-thirties by Wednesday.

The City of Guelph and the Region of Waterloo say they have their hands tied when it comes to opening cooling centres during this week’s heatwave due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

All public facilities such as libraries, recreation centres and city halls have closed their doors indefinitely in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: First heat warning of 2020 issued for Guelph area, Waterloo Region

These facilities are usually open to the public during heat warnings, but that won’t be the case during the high temperatures expected to last through Wednesday.

“Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has suggested we keep city facilities, pools and splash pads closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a City of Guelph spokesperson said in an email.

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Waterloo Region said it is in the same boat as Guelph and don’t have any plans to open cooling centres or pools and splash pads.

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Both the public health units for Guelph and Waterloo Region are encouraging residents to take precautions during the heat by avoiding exposure to the sun and staying hydrated.

Residents are also asked to check on older adults, people with chronic health conditions, children and infants because they are at a greater risk of heat-related illness.

Officials say those who don’t have air conditioning in their homes should stay in the coolest room and take cold showers.

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Those who go outside are reminded to maintain social distancing and avoid gathering in groups of five or more.

READ MORE: Lockdown 2.0? Case spikes could lead to more coronavirus restrictions

People are also being told to never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include dizziness, fainting, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat and extreme thirst.