Authorities are warning residents of scorching temperatures approaching Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and beyond, starting Friday and continuing well into next week.
The National Weather Service issued an “Excessive Heat Watch” for the Santa Clara Valley for Aug. 14 to 19, according to county officials. Temperatures and afternoon highs during this period are expected to surpass 100 degrees.
In Morgan Hill and Gilroy, weather experts are expecting high temperatures up to 105 or higher.
A number of cooling centers will be open in the region for vulnerable residents to take shelter in an air-conditioned setting. However, county authorities reminded residents that Covid-19 social distancing guidelines apply even inside the cooling centers.
In Gilroy, the public library, located at 350 West Sixth Street, will be open Friday and Saturday as a cooling center for South County residents from 1 to 5pm.
The City of Morgan Hill has opened the lobby of its Centennial Recreation Center, 171 West Edmundson Avenue, as a cooling center. The CRC lobby will be open 12pm to 9pm Monday through Friday, and 12pm to 5pm Saturday and Sunday for those who need to escape the heat. A maximum of 10 people are allowed inside the CRC lobby at a time due to Covid-19 restrictions, according to city staff.
In a press release, Santa Clara County officials said due to the potential for heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, residents are encouraged to take precautionary measures including:
– Drinking plenty of fluids with electrolytes and staying out of the sun and in air conditioning, when possible.
– Ensuring young children and pets are never left in vehicles under any circumstance. This is especially true during warm or hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures within minutes.
– Assisting others on the street who may be having a severe reaction to the heat, by calling 911.
– Checking on a vulnerable person without air conditioning, such as an older adult or infirm neighbor, someone with a drug or alcohol disorder or severe mental illness, via phone or email and ensuring that they are staying cool and safe.
The county public health department also reminded residents to take the following Covid-19 precautions at the cooling centers:
– Do not enter if you have Covid-19 symptoms including fever, cough, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, shortness of breath, unexplained loss of taste or smell
– Face covering is required (exception of children 6 years and under or if medically unadvisable).
– Maintain a minimum distance of six feet from others at all times.