Heat Emergency Declared in Boston Ahead of Scorching Weekend

The city is opening cooling centers but it's limiting capacity in the buildings and requiring visitors to bring their own water, among other restrictions

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has declared a heat emergency for the city Sunday and Monday, when temperatures are expected to reach into the 90s right with high humidity in expected as well.

NBC10 Boston's forecast has a First Alert for Sunday and Monday, and meteorologist Pamela Gardener says many Massachusetts communities inland from the ocean may see a heat wave starting Saturday.

Twenty Boston Centers for Youth & Families locations will be open those days to serve as cooling centers -- though with limited capacity -- from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for a complete list. Saturday, Walsh's office said Friday, noting that, between the heat and humidity, it may feel 100 degrees out.

"Please take the necessary steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 and from the heat and humidity that we expect over the weekend," Walsh said in a statement. "Continue to practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands often, and wear a face covering. If the face covering causes you to overheat, find a shaded area where you can maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and then remove the face covering so that you can breathe easily and cool down."

Gov. Charlie Baker urged Massachusetts residents not to let their guards down for the coronavirus, saying masks remain mandatory even on the hot weekend to come.

The coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing requirements that come with it may complicate how Boston helps residents cool off.

City libraries and pools are closed because of coronavirus safety measures, though Walsh's office noted that playgrounds do have tot sprays open, with restrictions.

Residents planning to go to cooling centers are being asked to call ahead of time. People will be screened at the door and will have to wear full face coverings, stay 6 feet from other people and frequently wash their hands for 20 seconds or more. They'll also have to bring their own water bottles and can only bring one bag inside.

Each facility will be kept to a maximum of 40% capacity, so they don't get crowded, and will be disinfected every hour, according to Walsh's office.

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