As the heat wave continues and temperatures are expected to rise into this weekend, the City of Kamloops will open the concourse at Sandman Centre to provide residents with temporary relief.
The arena, downtown next to Riverside Park, will be open as a cooling centre on Friday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will operate daily until the end of the heat wave.
Environment Canada is calling for daily highs of 32 Celsius on Thursday, June 24, followed by:
• 36 on Friday, June 25;
• 39 on Saturday, June 26;
• 40 on Sunday, June 27;
• 41 on Monday, June 28;
• 41 on Tuesday, June 29;
• 41 on Wednesday, June 30,
In accordance with pandemic-related public health orders, the capacity of the cooling centre at Sandman Centre will be limited to 50 people at a time and people will be required to wear masks and practise physical distancing while inside the facility.
In addition to the cooling centre, the city is working with community agencies to ensure bottled water is available for distribution to people at risk for heat-related illnesses.
In addition to Sandman Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association is using its Memorial Arena shelter, downtown in the 700-block of Victoria Street, as a cooling centre. The Loop drop-in centre, at Tranquille Road and MacKenzie Avenue in North Kamloops, is also available for people to escape the heat.
Community service (bylaws) officers will be watching for signs of heat-related illness and distributing water during their patrols and they will encourage people to find reprieve from the heat wherever possible. City spray parks are open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., while residents are reminded to use caution around the river as the water is still high and is moving quickly.
In the Interior Health region, a heat warning is issued when daytime temperatures are above 35 C for two consecutive days and overnight temperatures remain above 18 C. These continued high temperatures put many vulnerable populations at risk of heat-related illnesses, including the elderly, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illness and people experiencing homelessness. Residents are encouraged to check on neighbours and loved ones who may be unable to leave their homes or whose judgement may be impaired.
For tips to beat the heat as well as symptoms and treatment for heat-related illness, visit InteriorHealth.ca.