Environment Canada says it has issued a heat warning for Toronto because hot weather is expected to envelope the city from Thursday to Sunday this week.
The city, in response, says it will open 15 emergency cooling centres across Toronto while the heat warning remains in place.
In its forecast, Environment Canada says daytime high temperatures will be in the low 30s while overnight lows will be near 20 C.
“Extreme heat affects everyone,” the federal weather agency said in the heat warning on Wednesday.
“The risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.”
Centres to have infection prevention and control measures
In a news release on Wednesday, the city said the cooling centres will open on Thursday starting at 11 a.m.
The cooling centres offer a publicly accessible, air-conditioned place for residents to rest indoors and receive a cool drink, the city said. Staff who can help people affected by extreme heat will be there.
There will be strict infection prevention and control measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the city added.
The city said the cooling spaces are meant for residents who do not have access to cool spaces and who cannot keep cool in their homes or outdoors.
“Extreme heat is associated with negative health impacts ranging from heat stress to heat stroke and death. During periods of hot weather, the safety of all residents is the priority,” the city said.
All the centres will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Metro Hall, 55 John St., which will run 24 hours during the heat warning.
City has requirements for people at risk of getting COVID-19
People who are at higher risk for COVID-19, such as those over 70, or who are required to be in isolation due to COVID-19, such as those with symptoms, may visit a cooling centre, but the city said they must do the following:
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering at all times.
- Avoid use of public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
- Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
- Practice physical distancing.
And when arriving at a cooling centre, they must inform a staff member of their status during the screening process and before they enter.
To find a cooling centre near you, the city has provided an interactive map.
The location in South Etobicoke, however, has changed from Ourland Community Centre to Mimico-Coronation Club House.
Environment Canada said people should never leave people or pets inside parked vehicles.