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In preparation for the final days of a heat wave that has baked Southern California, Long Beach will be extending hours at cooling centers Friday and Saturday.

Community Centers at city parks which serve as air conditioned escapes from the heat for residents will have their Friday operating hours extended until 7PM and will be open Saturday from 10AM to 6PM. The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of nearly 100 degrees for Long Beach Saturday October 4. Sweltering conditions forced Long Beach Unified School District to shorten school days this week due to most campuses not having classrooms equipped with air conditioners.

City of Long Beach Health Officer Dr. Mitchell Kushner advises residents to take precautions against heat related injuries and to seek refuge in air conditioned buildings and to limit outdoor activities.

“With higher temperatures, people may develop heat-related conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, especially individuals working outside or participating in outdoor activities,” Kushner said. “It’s particularly important for individuals to seek air-conditioned environments during peak heat, such as stores, malls, libraries, and theaters.”

Older people are at the highest risk of developing heat related illnesses, but other factors that could increase the likelihood of developing heat related issues are obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, poor circulation and drug and alcohol use. It is encouraged that regardless of activity level, residents should increase their fluid intake levels.

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are two common problems associated with spikes in temperature like the one being felt across the Southland this weekend. Heat stroke occurs when your body is no longer able to control its own temperature through sweating and the body’s temperature rises quickly. This can result in permanent injury or even death if emergency treatment isn’t administered.

Warning signs of heat stroke include high body temperature, dizziness, nausea confusion, hot, dry skin or a rapid pulse. If anyone is experiencing these symptoms call 911 and get them to a shady area and try to cool them by whatever methods possible. The best possible way to avoid heat related illness is to stay cool and plan ahead if you can’t avoid being out in the sun this weekend before temperatures begin to fall Sunday.

These cooling centers will be open until 7PM October 3 and from 10AM to 6PM Saturday October 4: 

Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Avenue
Silverado Community Center, 1545 West 31st Street
El Dorado West Community Center, 2800 Studebaker Road
Cesar Chavez Community Center, 401 Golden Avenue
McBride (Cal Rec) Community Center, 1550 Martin Luther King Avenue
Long Beach Senior Center, 1150 East 4th Street

For more information on staying cool and preventing heat related illness, visit the Health Department’s Heat Information page at Anyone with questions regarding staying safe in the heatwave can call the City Health Officer, Dr. Mitchel Kushner, at 562-570-4047.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.