Philadelphia Department of Public Health declares heat health emergency

Residents are encouraged to visit any of the Parks and Recreation Department’s 92 spraygrounds.

Acting Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole has issued a Heat Health Emergency in Philadelphia now through Friday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m., though it may be extended if the forecast worsens.

A declaration of a Heat Health Emergency activates the city’s emergency heat programs, which include the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Heatline, cooling centers, home visits by special field teams and enhanced daytime outreach for people experiencing homelessness.

The PCA Heatline (215-765-9040) is now open and will run until midnight on Wednesday, Aug. 11. It will be open between 8:30 a.m. and midnight on Thursday, Aug. 12, and will be open between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13. The public is encouraged to call if they have questions about precautions they can take and detecting signs of heat stress. City Health Department nurses will be available to speak with callers about medical problems related to the heat.

“This could be the hottest week of the summer, so it’s especially important for folks to try to get their loved ones – especially our elderly neighbors and family members – into air conditioning during the hottest part of the day,” said Bettigole. “This could mean using the air in your home, your car, a business, or one of the city’s cooling centers, being careful to follow COVID-19 precautions.”

Cooling sites will be open throughout the city and available for use by all Philadelphia residents looking to escape the heat. Residents are also encouraged to visit any of the Parks and Recreation Department’s 92 spraygrounds. For more information, or to locate a Cooling Center, pool or sprayground in your neighborhood, call 311.


Cooling Centers

These libraries will operate with extended hours now through Friday, Aug. 13. Masks are required at the library cooling centers.

  • Frankford Library, 4634 Frankford Ave.
  • Haddington Library, 445 North 65th Street
  • Lillian Marrero Library, 601 West Lehigh Ave.
  • Paschalville Library, 6942 Woodland Ave.
  • Widener Library, 2808 West Lehigh Ave.
  • Blanche A. Nixon Cobbs Creek Library, 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway
  • Fox Chase Library, 501 Rhawn Street
  • Joseph E. Coleman Regional Library, 68 West Chelten Ave.
  • Lucien E. Blackwell Regional Library, 125 South 52nd Street
  • West Oak Lane Library, 2000 East Washington Lane
  • Whitman Library, 200 Snyder Ave.

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