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Baltimore declares code red extreme heat advisory, opens cooling centers

People visit in a park overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. Baltimore officials say police won't enforce immigration laws despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' threat to withhold federal funding for crime fighting unless they agree to cooperate. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky
People visit in a park overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017.

Baltimore is opening nine cooling centers as part of the code red extreme heat advisory the city has put in place at least until Thursday.

Maryland is currently experiencing heat index temperatures between 100 and 105 degrees, making it dangerous to spend long periods outside.

“Our bodies need even just little periods of break in air conditioned spaces or to come out of the heat,” said Kimberly Eshelman, the Baltimore director of public health preparedness and response. “That really helps to protect against heat-related illness.”

Baltimore is experiencing a late summer heat wave along with much of the eastern United States. Temperatures are as much as 20 degrees above the average for this time of year.

There are 10 Baltimore City Schools that do not have air conditioning, those schools are switching to remote learning for grades 2 to 12. Kindergarten and first graders will still attend in-person, but in air-conditioned rooms. They will also work on an early release schedule.

Eshelman said Baltimore has a multi-agency group that decides when the city will enter into a code red advisory.

“We've been monitoring the weather daily, and looking at the heat index, which is that measure of how hot the temperature feels on the body,” she said.

Eshelman said people who are outside should take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Cooling centers can be found at:

  • Harford Senior Center
    4920 Harford Rd.
    (410) 426-4009
  • Hatton Senior Center
    2825 Fait Ave.
  • Sandtown Winchester Senior Center
    1601 Baker St.
    (410) 396-7724
  • Oliver Senior Center
    1700 N Gay St.
    (410) 396-3861

  • Zeta Center for Health and Active Aging
    4501 Reisterstown Rd.
    (410) 396-3535
  • Waxter Senior Center
    1000 Cathedral St.
    (410) 396-1324
  • Beans & Bread
    402 S. Bond St.
    9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Cherry Hill Homes
    2700 Spelman Rd.
  • ShopRite Howard Park
    4601 Liberty Heights Ave.
Scott is the Health Reporter for WYPR. @smaucionewypr
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