FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Cooling centers opened up on Wednesday afternoon to help with Central Valley heat, but with COVID-19 guidelines in place.
The cooling centers are open, but not everyone may be able to get in.
If a person’s temperature is 100.4 or over, whether it’s due to COVID-19 or just the heat itself, they won’t be allowed in. The city is setting cooling tents outside to see if their body temperature goes down.
Jaime Sandoval, the Communications Coordinator for the City of Fresno said, “And you still haven’t been able to cool down, we’re not going to let you in just because of safety concerns during the pandemic.”
Additionally, masks, distanced seating, regularly cleaning areas and even fogging the facility after close are all part of the new norm at the cooling centers.
“These two cooling centers were picked out because they have the high ceiling and so that kind of gives you a little bit more space. We’re going to practice social distancing.”
Community centers actually fall under Phase 3 in Gov. Newsom’s plans of reopening businesses, but Mayor Lee Brand asked for an exception because of the Valley’s searing heat and elderly population.
“We do recognize that we have folks that maybe don’t have air conditioners at work, they don’t have a cool place to hang out, maybe they have an older unit and it just gets to be unbearable if you don’t have a place to stay also. So, what you can do is you can come here, have a cool place to hang out–we have drinking fountains, restrooms and just kind of cool off in the hottest part of the day.”
The cooling centers are free and the city is also offering free transportation on the FAX bus system’s normal routes to and from the cooling centers.
The facilities were open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and already have plans to open Thursday.
Locations to cooling centers:
- Frank H. Ball, 760 Mayor – Map to Frank H. Ball
- Ted C. Wills Community Center, 770 N. San Pablo – Map to Ted C. Wills