fourth of july

City of Chicago Details Safety Plan Ahead of Holiday Weekend Heat Wave

NBCUniversal, Inc.

With a streak of hot weather expected throughout the holiday weekend, the city of Chicago on Friday has unveiled plans to keep residents comfortable and cool while celebrating Independence Day.

Officials said the city's "extreme heat plan" will be activated when the National Weather Service forecasts a heat index in excess of 105 to 110 degrees for at least two consecutive days.

That plan will include cooling centers, cooling buses, well-being checks and more, officials said. There will also be wellness checks for some of the area's most vulnerable populations, including homeless residents, seniors and people with disabilities.

However, residents aren't able to cool off at city beaches due to closures imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, NBC 5 saw many people cooling off at parks throughout the city, practicing social distancing.

In Humboldt Park, some people found a way to cool off on the water: riding in swan boats.

In some areas NBC 5 went to Friday night, many people were donning masks. But that wasn't the case everywhere.

Some say wearing a mask is unbearable in the hot weather.

While some people may spend the Fourth of July weekend at beaches, that's not the case this year, at least in Chicago. NBC 5's Lexi Sutter reports.

Dr. Rachel Rubin with the Cook County Department of Public Health advises people not to ditch their mask - no matter how warm it is.

"Put a cool towel or damp towel around your neck, wear a hat, keep out of the sun," she said. "Walk in the shade and keep water with you. All you need is to be safe."

On a hot holiday weekend, when even our four-legged friends are sweating, Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications said it will coordinate responses to escalate services if necessary.

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