With the heat index expected to reach 105 degrees this week, several cooling zones will be open to help residents cope with the heat. The following locations will be available during specified times/hours to be used as cooling zones if needed:
• The City of Atwater’s Cooling Zone will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday at the Atwater Community Center on 760 E. Bellevue Road.
• The City of Dos Palos’ Cooling Zone will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday at the City- County Building (City Hall) on 1546 Golden Gate Ave.
• The City of Gustine’s Cooling Zone will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sunday at the Community Room adjacent to the Library at 205 Sixth St.
• The City of Livingston’s Cooling Zone will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. daily at the Police Department on 1446 C St.
• The City of Los Banos’ Cooling Zone will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. through Sunday at the Miller and Lux Building at 838 Sixth St.
• The City of Merced’s Cooling Zone will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. through Friday at the Merced Civic Center (Sam Pipes Room) on 678 W. 18th St.
• Merced County libraries will also be available as Cooling Zones during normal hours. Days open and hours vary at all locations. Atwater branch is located at 1600 Third Street (358-6651); Delhi branch is located at 16881 W. Schendel Rd. (656-2049); Dos Palos branch is located at 2002 Almond (392-2155); Gustine branch is located at 205 Sixth St. (854-3013); Hilmar branch is located at 20041 W. Falke (632-0746); Le Grand branch is located at 12949 Le Grand Rd, 389-4541; Livingston branch is located at 1212 Main St. (394-7330); Los Banos branch is located at 1312 Seventh St. (826-5254); Merced Main Branch is located at 2100 O St. (385-7484); Santa Nella is located at 29188 W. Centinella Ave. (826-6059); Snelling branch is located at 15916 N. Hwy. 59 (563-6616); and the Winton branch is located at 7057 Walnut (358-3651).
Because of the extreme heat, The Bus will provide free rides on the existing fixed-route buses to the nearest Cooling Zone. The Bus will take passengers along the fixed route to a designated location near an available Cooling Zone only. The public can also take the fixed route bus back along the route to get home, as service is available. Check the fixed route schedules for exact times of availability. Transfers may be required. If you have a disability that prevents you from using the fixed route bus by yourself, please call (209) 384-3111.
Residents are advised to drink plenty of fluids, dress in lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and keep physical activities to a minimum during the hottest parts of the day. Never leave children, pets or the elderly unattended in a parked vehicle. Keep in contact with friends and family that may be at higher risk of heat illness, including infants and young children as well as older, sick and frail people. Common symptoms of heat-related conditions include profuse sweating, weakness, dizziness, headache, dimmed or blurred vision, cold damp skin, extreme tiredness, nausea and hot dry skin.
To hear the latest updates from the Merced County Office of Emergency Services, please call 209-385-7379.