Cooling centers open to escape the heat

July 1, 2013 

— Because of extremely high temperatures in the region, several cooling centers in Merced County will remain open for the next few days to help residents cope with the heat, according to a county news release.

• Atwater's cooling center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Wednesday at the Community Center, 760 E. Bellevue Road.

• Dos Palos' cooling center will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. through Wednesday at 1546 Golden Gate Ave.

• Merced's cooling center will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. through Wednesday at the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.

• Los Banos' cooling center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Wednesday at the Los Banos Community Center, 645 Seventh St.

Alternate sites not affiliated with the county or cities also will be operating cooling centers. One such site is Winton Lifeline Community Center, which will be open from 3 to 8 p.m. through Tuesday at 7081 N. Winton Way.

Because of the extreme heat, The Bus will provide free rides on existing fixed-route buses to the nearest cooling center through Wednesday.

The Bus will take passengers along the fixed route to a designated location near an available cooling center only. Passengers also can take the fixed-route bus back along the route to get home, when service is available. Check the fixed-route schedules for exact times. Transfers may be required.

The fixed-route service changes today and doesn't include late evening hours. If you have a disability that prevents you from using the fixed-route bus by yourself, call (209) 384-3111.

Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and keep physical activity to a minimum during the hottest parts of the day.

Children, pets and seniors should never be left unattended in a parked vehicle.

Keep in contact with friends and family members who might be at higher risk for heat-related illness, including infants and young children as well as older, sick and frail people.

Common symptoms of heat-related conditions include profuse sweating, weakness, dizziness, headache, dimmed or blurred vision, cold and damp skin, extreme tiredness, nausea and hot, dry skin.

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