Cooling centers will be open throughout Riverside County Friday and through the weekend as the first heat wave of summer pushes the mercury well into triple digits.

“These triple-digit temperatures can cause some serious health issues, particularly for those among the most vulnerable populations, like seniors,” said county Department of Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari.

The Community Action Partnership of Riverside County coordinates with senior centers, chapels, libraries and other air-conditioned nonprofits to establish temporary shelters, where residents can escape during extreme heat, particularly when it is most intense.

Currently, 15 such facilities are in operation countywide. In some years, more than 50 shelters have been available, but because of COVID-19 concerns, fewer are open this summer.

The available spots can be found at www.capriverside.org/Portals/2/PDF/Cool/2020%20Cool%20Center_Directory-v5.pdf. Residents may also call the county’s 211 service or information.

No one who is a confirmed coronavirus patient will be admitted, and those who are allowed inside the facilities will be required to wear face coverings, according to county officials.

Heat stroke, dehydration and other consequences of high temps warrant staying sheltered and cool.

The hottest days are expected to be Saturday and Sunday, with a gradual but shallow cooling trend beginning early next week, according to the National Weather Service. Riverside is expected to hit 102 degrees Sunday, while Palm Springs could be closer to 120.

A Heat Advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday.

“Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside,” the NWS stated. “When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible.”

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