Health officials: NWS predicting extreme heat, avoid going outside


YAKIMA, Wash. — Health officials in Yakima County are advising the public to avoid going outside in extreme temperatures after a heat advisory was issued for central and eastern Washington.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to reach between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit through Thursday, which could pose a community health risk, especially for the elderly, young children, people with chronic illnesses and those who work or exercise outdoors, the Yakima Health District said in a news release.

The health district is advising community members to take steps to prevent heat-related illness as well as continue to take precautions against COVID-19.

“Face coverings are a critical preventive measure in reducing the spread of COVID-19, but in hot weather, wearing one can feel hot and uncomfortable. If possible, avoid going to outdoor or non-air-conditioned indoor spaces where you will need to wear a face covering,” the health district said. “If you are in a public space and feel uncomfortable wearing a face covering because of the heat, ensure that you step at least six feet away from others before removing your face covering to cool down.”

The health district also recommends taking these additional steps to stay cool and safe from COVID-19:

  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best.
  • Never leave any person or pet in a parked vehicle
  • Limit sun exposure between 11am-7pm and try to plan outdoor activities for early or late in the day
    when temperatures are cooler
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun block, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothes when outdoors
  • If outdoors, do not wear a mask if you are able to stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Limit indoor/outdoor activities to members of your household only

Symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness, nausea, headaches, and muscle cramps. If you start experiencing these symptoms, immediately move to a cooler location to rest and drink a cool beverage, ideally
in the shade. If you or a family member experience symptoms and begin to lose consciousness, call 911 immediately.