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City reminds residents where to cool off as temperatures rise

Photo courtesy of Macey Hurst
As the summer nears, the city reminds citizens where they can cool off.

With summer quickly approaching on June 20 and temperatures rising within the next week, Columbia Public Health and Human Services has released cooling center locations and tips to avoid heat-related illnesses.

Temperatures are expected to reach the upper 80s on Wednesday and stay at least in the lower 90s for the next seven to eight days, KOMU Chief Meteorologist Matt Beckwith said. The temperature is expected to rise to the upper 90s within the next few weeks with the heat index hitting triple digits, Beckwith said.

The city cooling systems are at locations in use since 2022, said Austin Krohn, public health information specialist.

Cooling centers include:

  • Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St.
  • City Hall, 701 E. Broadway
  • Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, 1005 W. Worley St.
  • Columbia Public Library, 100 W. Broadway
  • Salvation Army, 1108 W. Ash St.
  • Salvation Army Harbor House, 602 N. Ann St.
  • St. Francis House, 901 Rangeline St.

The centers will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p. m. Monday through Friday.
According to a news release from Columbia Public Health and Human Services, heavy exposure to extreme heat can cause many health problems, including heatstroke and, in extreme cases, death. Infants, young children, people 65 and older and people who are ill or on certain medications are at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses, the release said.

Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness, according to the release.

Tips provided by the city to avoid heat-related illness include:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area, such as the cooling centers, during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink water often. Be sure to drink before you are thirsty. Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside or in a building without air conditioning.
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Wear a hat when outside, preferably with a wide brim.
  • Apply sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions. Look for sunscreens that say “broad spectrum.”
The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.
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