Photo by jypsygen, via Flickr

Baltimore’s health commissioner today declared a Code Red alert running from tomorrow through Sunday.

The alert signifies temps are hot enough to pose a threat to the health of vulnerable citizens, including the elderly and children, and to warrant opening up designated community cooling centers.

The “extreme heat is particularly dangerous to young children, older adults and those with chronic medical conditions,” Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said in an announcement.

Her warnings come amid a forecast for highs in the low to upper 90s every day for the next week, peaking at 97 degrees on Saturday. The heat index–how hot it feels when factoring in humidity–is forecast to reach 100 degrees or higher on Wednesday (100 degrees), Friday (105 degrees), Saturday (107 degrees) and Sunday (103 degrees), according to National Weather Service forecasts.

Dzirasa declared the first Code Red alert of the year on June 28, when temperatures reached the mid-90s and the heat index topped 100 degrees, and issued a similar five-day alert during the week of Fourth of July. The city has had one heat-related death so far this year reported by the medical examiner’s office, she said in today’s announcement.

ShopRite Howard Park will serve as a cooling center during business hours through Sunday, and the following city cooling centers will be open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. from tomorrow through Friday, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. over the weekend:

  • Northern Community Action Partnership Center, 5225 York Road, (410) 396-6084
  • Northwest Community Action Partnership Center, 3939 Reisterstown Road, (443) 984-1384
  • Southeast Community Action Partnership Center 3411 Bank St., (410) 545-6518
  • Eastern Community Action Partnership Center 1731 E. Chase St., (410) 545-0136

The Southern Community Action Partnership Center at 606 Cherry Hill Road (inside the 2nd floor of the shopping center) will have the same hours but be closed Sunday.

The Health Department’s Division of Aging and CARE Services will also keep these locations open as cooling centers from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. through Friday:

  • Waxter Center for Senior Citizens, 1000 Cathedral St., (410) 396-1324
  • Oliver Senior Center, 1700 Gay St., (410) 396-3861
  • Sandtown-Winchester Senior Center, 1601 N. Baker St., (410) 396-7725
  • Hatton Senior Center, 2825 Fait Ave., (410) 396-9025
  • John Booth/Hooper Senior Center, 2601 E. Baltimore St., (410) 396-9202
  • Zeta Center, 4501 Reisterstown Road, (410) 396-3535
  • Harford Center, 4920 Harford Road, (410) 426-4009

Reminders courtesy of the health department: drinks lots of water, avoid booze and caffeine, stay inside during the hottest hours (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), check in on the elderly and sick, keep kids and pets out of hot cars and watch out for signs of heat exhaustion.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...