How to handle high temps, poor air quality and COVID-19.

October 1, 2020

It’s going to be another warm day or two in San Francisco and to make matters more challenging, we may have poor air quality due to the numerous fires burning throughout the region—all the while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. When we have multiple simultaneous emergencies such as heat+poor air quality+COVID-19, it is important to prioritize keeping cool, preventing the spread of COVID-19, and watching out for those vulnerable to heat and air quality, especially babies and toddlers and older adults.

What this means is if it feels too warm inside, it’s important to keep cool by keeping shades drawn, turning on a fan and using damp cloths on neck, head and chest to cool down. It’s okay to open windows when it’s too hot inside even when the air quality may be poor (but don't let children play near open windows as they could fall).

If it still feels too hot in your home, seek cooler temperatures, but be sure to keep at least six feet away from people not in your household and wear a face covering. Great places to beat the heat include shady parks and other uncrowded outdoor spaces.

Know the signs of heat stroke and call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Red, hot, dry skin (with no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Mental confusion
  • Delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Unconsciousness