PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia is taking action as the thermometer climbs. Officials are taking a number of steps to help the most vulnerable during the heat health emergency.
On a scorching day in Philly, there’s no better place to be than an ice cream shop, and the Franklin Fountain in Old City had the lines to prove it on Sunday.
“She dragged me outside actually. I was like, it is 97, I am not going outside. You get ice cream, you can cool off,” Chloe Williams said.
Some even braved the heat to eat outside as restaurants are only offering outdoor dining due to the city’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“It’s summertime in Philadelphia. We’re not at the beach, we gotta do something, right? You can’t sit inside all day,” restaurant owner John Joe said.
City health officials are not only in the midst of counting and combatting coronavirus cases, but they’re also having to revise health plans for cooling sites to keep residents safe during the pandemic.
“We were able to work with the libraries to identify three locations that’ll be open for tomorrow afternoon. We’ve also worked with SEPTA to put some busses in particular neighborhoods where there’s a high heat vulnerability, and we’ve also worked with the school district to open two schools tomorrow afternoon as well,” said Derek Ziegler, with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.
The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging will activate its emergency heatline to help the most vulnerable residents find refuge from the stifling heat.
Health officials are urging residents to check on elderly neighbors, all while keeping yourself and those around you safe.
“Because we do have the risk COVID right now, if you are helping somebody, stay six feet away as much as possible. We recognize you’re not going to be able to stay six feet away all the time, but everyone should wear a mask,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
The heat health emergency begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday and ends at midnight.