PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Cooling down during a viral pandemic is making things more complicated. There are new questions to consider about health and safety.
Little ones still found joy in the sputtering fountain at Dilworth Park on a steamy day that had adults sweating underneath their masks. The water level at the fountain was nowhere near the spouting jets typical this time of year.
“I might be joining him in a minute,” said Keri Smotrich, as she watched her toddler son run through the water. “It’s been pretty tough, just looking for shade, unique ways to cool down while we’re in the city.”
City pools will remain closed this summer, but spraygrounds will open up on a rolling basis starting July 6.
In the meantime, people cooled off under the shade of umbrellas and cold drinks at Dilworth and at the Old City Beer Garden on Market Street, as the temperature hovered around 90 degrees.
“It’s pretty humid, it’s pretty hot, I’m not really a fan of the heat, but I deal with it,” said Jessica Rufer, who was having lunch at the garden.
Akbar Bradley is a courier who says his electric bike has been a lifesaver.
“It makes my deliveries way quicker, faster and smoother,” Bradley said. “As long as I’m making money, nothing bothers me.”
City officials say they are working on balancing the need to provide relief from the heat with the need to protect people from the coronavirus.
“These are difficult times, because we are trying to manage both, two, multiple health crises, regarding heat, certainly and COVID and trying to make sure people stay safe on both fronts,” said Brian Abernathy, the city’s managing director.
Abernathy said the city has a working group focused specifically on heat. It is working on opening libraries and indoor malls in the near future.
The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging has a helpline for any city resident with heat-related questions. The number is (215) 765-9040.