Period of Extreme Heat Causes Cooling Center to Open

During extremely hot weather, Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency follows its heat response plan, which includes distributing educational information about staying cool to the public and working with community partners to monitor conditions and assist those in need. Forecasters anticipate the excessive heat to continue, with high overnight low temperatures.

In the City of Shasta Lake, due to a lack of public air-conditioned places, a cooling center
at the Community Center at 4499 Main Street is scheduled to be open from Noon to 6
p.m. today through Friday. Cooling centers differ from public air-conditioned places, such as
malls or libraries in that they are dedicated sites for respite from extreme heat during specific
times of day. Those who do not have access to air conditioning at home are encouraged to
find relief at a cooling center. Limited public air-conditioned places are also available,
including the Redding Library.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, extra precautions will be put in place at the cooling center.
Precautions include: Disposable masks for staff and community members, hand sanitizer,
temperature and verbal symptom checks at the door, regular sanitization of frequentlytouched surfaces and visual aids to help prevent the spread of germs.

Prolonged exposure to excessive heat can lead to heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke.
Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Symptoms can include: altered mental
state; red, hot and dry skin; rapid pulse; throbbing headache, confusion or unconsciousness.
Without immediate treatment and cooling, people with heatstroke can die. Heat exhaustion
may include heavy sweating, weakness, nausea and can turn into heatstroke if the person is
not cooled down quickly. Excessive heat may also cause fainting or heat cramps.

Some health conditions such as obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation,
sunburn, certain medications and drug and alcohol use can increase risk for heat-related
illness and death. Excessive heat can also increase the risk of heart attacks and related
conditions. During this stretch of extreme heat, be sure to:
• Drink plenty of water
• Avoid dehydrating beverages like
Caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, energy drinks and sodas)
Alcohol
Sugary drinks
• Stay cool indoors
Stay in an air-conditioned area, if possible
A cool shower or bath is also a good way to cool off
Swamp coolers and fans may not sufficiently prevent heat illness during extreme heat
• Wear light clothing and sunscreen
Choose lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing
A wide-brimmed hat will keep your head cool
Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and reapply every two hours
while in the sun (all skin types)
• Schedule outdoor activities carefully
Try to be less active during midday and late afternoon, the hottest part of the day
Rest often in a shady area
Never leave kids or pets in a parked car
• Pace yourself
Take frequent, regularly scheduled breaks in a cool or shaded place
If your heart pounds, you become out of breath, lightheaded, weak or feel faint, stop your activity, drink water or juice, and rest in a cool or shady area
If you or someone you know is experiencing throbbing headache, hot dry skin, or confusion with the heat, seek immediate medical attention. Also, move to a cool area, hydrate, and rest until get to medical attention
• Use a buddy system
Check on your friends and family and have someone do the same for you
Check on the elderly and people with health conditions twice a day during a heatwave

Please do your part to stay safe and watch out for family members and vulnerable
populations. For more information on heat-related safety go to www.shastahhsa.net and
click “Information on Staying Safe in Hot Temperatures” at the top of the page.

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-from press release
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