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Mayor Wu extends heat emergency, keeps cooling centers open through Sunday

Temperatures in Boston are expected to remain in the high 90s throughout the weekend.

The City of Boston is keeping cooling centers and splash pads around the city open over the weekend when temperatures are expected to stay in the high 90s. (Lane Turner/Globe Staff)

With temperatures in Boston expected to stay in the high 90s throughout the weekend, Mayor Michelle Wu is extending the heat emergency she declared on Monday through Sunday, and is keeping cooling centers throughout the city open.

The heat emergency was previously scheduled to end Thursday, but according to the National Weather Service (NWS), the extreme heat in Boston will continue through the weekend.

On Friday, according to the NWS, the high is expected to be 95 degrees. On Saturday, temperatures are expected to go even higher, reaching 97 degrees, and on Sunday, temperatures may reach a sweltering 99 degrees.

“With the weather forecast now showing the high temperatures and humidity lasting through the weekend, we’re extending the heat emergency to prioritize the well-being and safety of Boston’s families,” Wu said in a news release Thursday.

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“I encourage residents to continue to utilize our cooling centers and splash pads, and to check on your neighbors.”

To help residents stay cool, the City’s cooling centers at 12 Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) community centers will remain open through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mayor Wu announced. A list of the centers can be found at boston.gov/heat.

Due to rising COVID-19 cases, the City said, it is highly recommended that people wear masks inside the cooling centers.

Additionally, more than 50 splash pads will be open at parks and playgrounds throughout Boston. Select indoor BCYF pools will also be open, and the outdoor BCYF Mirabella Pool will be open through Sunday. Registration for a time to swim can be found on the City’s website.

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Residents can also access air conditioning at Boston Public Library (BPL) locations. The Central Library in Copley Square will be open Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., while BPL neighborhood branch locations will be open Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The East Boston and Egleston Square BPL branches also recently installed misters in their outdoor free WiFi zones, the City said.

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Mayor Wu also shared information on how to help people experiencing homelessness who may be suffering or in danger because of the heat.

If you see people out in the heat who appear immobile or disoriented, ask them if they need assistance and call 911 immediately. The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) operates emergency shelters at 112 Southampton St. and 794 Massachusetts Ave. These facilities are air conditioned and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Heat Safety Tips:

  • Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicles, even for short periods of time.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water regardless of activity level. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine.
  • Keep cool with frequent cool showers, shade, and air conditioning or fans.
  • Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas and be extra cautious from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Heavy sweating, cool and clammy skin, dizziness, nausea, and muscle aches could all be signs of heat exhaustion. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately.
  • Use sunscreen containing an SPF-30 or higher and wear protective, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Call or check on neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities.
  • Keep pets indoors, hydrated, and cool
  • Always wear shoes outdoors, including on playgrounds and turf, as surfaces can become extremely hot and cause burns, even on splash pads and spray decks.

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