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Photos: The Salvation Army opens cooling station as heat index surpasses 100 degrees

Photos: The Salvation Army opens cooling station as heat index surpasses 100 degrees

The Lynchburg region was under a heat advisory for part of Monday, with the National Weather Service warning of a high temperature forecast to reach 100 and heat index values forecast up to 108. Heat index is a measure of what it feels like outside due to temperature and humidity combined.

The rest of the week seems unlikely to offer much relief from the heat. The weather service predicts highs in the 90s every day through at least Saturday, with a small chance of thunderstorms each day as well.

The Salvation Army opened it's first cooling station of the season today due to the intense heat. It had been cautious about opening until this point due to COVID-19. 

"It's a space that we have designated to create an environment that is safe and refreshing to anybody who would be in danger because of the weather right now," Salvation Army Major Caleb Prieto said. 

In order to keep patrons safe while using the cooling station, procedures have been put in place to prevent bringing COVID-19 into the facility, like taking the temperature of everyone who enters. 

"There are some guidelines that we have to observe because of COVID," Prieto said. "There is social distancing required, face masks are required, hands have to be sanitized but they can still come and refresh if they are feeling the effects of outside." 

They plan to keep the cooling station open on Tuesday and Wednesday until 5 p.m. and will continue to monitor the weather to see if they need to add additional days of the cooling station according to Prieto.

The Salvation Army is also accepting donations and is in need of water, hand sanitizer, face masks and various supplies for the cooling station and the prevention of COVID-19.

Officials recommend everyone drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun, check up on relatives and neighbors, never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles and take extra precautions if spending time outside.

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