REGION — San Diego County health officials today urged residents to take precautions — particularly with children, the elderly and pets — during this weekend’s heatwave.
The mercury in the county rose into the mid-90s while triple-digit temperatures were expected in desert areas Friday afternoon. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that will be in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday in the inland valleys, but the heatwave is expected to end Sunday.
A high-pressure air mass drifting from inland areas into coastal areas will keep temperatures hot through Saturday, then temperatures will drop on Sunday and Monday, forecasters said.
Highs in the western valleys will drop to the high-80s on Sunday, then the mid-80s on Monday. High temperatures in the deserts will remain around 100 through at least Thursday next week.
Due to the public health order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the county will not be operating the Cool Zones program this weekend but is looking at options for next week. The program designates air-conditioned settings where seniors and others can gather. The sites encourage people to share air conditioning during the heat of the day, lowering individual usage and helping conserve energy for the whole community.
To avoid heat-related problems, health officials recommend the following strategies:
— If available, stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day;
— Wear light, loose-fitting clothing;
— Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don’t wait until thirsty;
— Take cool showers;
— Never leave a child, elderly person or pet unattended in a car;
— Keep pets cool in hot weather;
— Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day;
— Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun;
— Avoid using the oven to cook.
An extremely high body temperature — 103 degrees or higher — dizziness, nausea, confusion and headache are signs of heatstroke or exhaustion. If someone shows these signs, call 911 and begin cooling the individual by moving them to a shaded area, spraying with cool water and fanning them, placing them in a cool shower if they are alert, monitoring body temperature and continue cooling efforts and while not giving the victim fluids to drink.