heat wave

Can't Take the Heat? There's the Beach, or You Can Try These Cooling Centers in Boston

The feels-like temperature is expected to hit 100 degrees Monday

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Boston officially recorded its first heat wave of 2020 on Monday, with three straight days of 90-degree weather. Tuesday looks to be another toasty day, but we are expecting perfect beach weather.

Beach goers were out at Revere Beach and Wollaston Beach in Quincy to enjoy the waves and avoid the oppressive heat.

The next several days are expected to draw more crowds, and given that we're still in a pandemic, people are reminded to continue social distancing and to wear masks.

People are trying to beat the heat despite the pandemic during a hot stretch of weather.

But not everywhere was packed Monday, including Carson Beach in South Boston.

“I actually hid in the casino," said Jill Estwing, who is visiting from Illinois. "I’ve been indoors for the last two days, so I have not suffered at all.”

The smaller-than-usual crowd meant plenty of room for social distancing, though, and that made Estwing feel safe.

“I’ve got my mask with me," she said. "If I come up on somebody, I can pull it out of my pocket and put it on....”

But beaches aren't the only option during this heat emergency. The splash pads on the Kennedy Greenway are on, and there are 20 cooling off centers across the City of Boston that people can go to to escape the heat.

People in Massachusetts are finding several ways to beat the heat wave that continues across New England.

Select Boston Centers for Youth & Families community centers are open for residents, where they can use air-conditioned rooms to cool off Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Locations include Dorchester, Mattapan, Charlestown, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.

A full list of centers, including hours of operation, is available here.

Tot sprays are also open at playgrounds in the city, with restrictions.

Boston Public Libraries and City-operated pools remain closed to the public at this time due to COVID-19 safety measures. The centers opened as part of Mayor Marty Walsh's Heat Emergency deceleration in Boston, which he issued Friday in anticipation of the heat wave forecast through Tuesday.

And the heat has been getting to a lot of people, keeping Boston EMS busy.

"People were calling in for people who that were concerned homeless effected by the heat and a lot of checking and well-being calls,” Chief James Hooley said.

Hooley says he received nearly 350 calls Sunday, many of them for heat-related issues, and first responders must assume that everyone could have the coronavirus, which means wearing protective equipment that can get very hot.

“That actually adds to the degree of difficulty working in that weather for our personnel,” Hooley said.

If you plan on heading to a community cooling center, remember to bring a face mask, and only one small bag is allowed.

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