COVID-19 restrictions raise new challenges amidst Public Health heat advisory

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WATCH: Hot weather a concern for public health officials – May 26, 2020

The heat wave in southern Ontario has both health and municipal officials working hard to address the situation that is expected to last until Thursday.

Dr. Azim Kasmani, a public health resident and physician through Queen’s University, is anticipating people will be outside and using municipal parks.

Being outside is good for people’s physical and mental health, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kasmani says distancing and groups no more than five people must be adhered to.

“If you are outside make sure it’s within you’re household unit and not with a whole bunch of other people, because then you expose yourself to all of their contacts as well,” Kasmani said.

READ MORE: Travel outside of Kingston region greatest threat for COVID-19: Public health

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The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington region has done well with 62 cases, all resolved without any deaths.

Kasmani warns being complacent about distancing and groups during the warm weather, however, could lead to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“If we get more waves that’s how they’ll happen, so being outside is a good way too stay safe but you still have to continue to abide by those priniciples.”

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The heat wave also creates another problem in the area for individuals at risk due to the continued heat, whether for health or age-related reasons.

Cooling centres like public libraries or malls are closed.

KFL&A Public Health officials and city of Kingston staff opened the Artillery Park Aquatic Centre today allowing people to escape the heat.

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Most of the facility remains closed but the gym has been opened up to the public from noon until 8 pm on Tuesday.

Brandi Timpson, the city of Kingston’s Manager of Emergency Management, says two libraries in different parts of the city will open along with Artillery Park starting on Wednesday.

“Calvin Park will be opening and Isabel Turner, but only opening as a cool down location please keep in mind that obviously they aren’t going to be renting out books at this time.”

All three facilities will be open from 10 am to 8 pm on May 27 and 28.

Timpson says hand sanitizer will be available at all thee locations and anyone wanting to use the facilities will be pre-screened.

People will also be required to sign in and sign out when they leave.

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