Sunday, June 21, 2020

Cities Brace For 'Collision Course' Of Summer Heat Waves And COVID-19


Spray parks, like this one in Washington, D.C., have become popular places for people to cool off in the heat of summer. But this year, fears over the coronavirus mean that some cities are re-evaluating whether to keep them open. Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

By Brett Dahlberg

Aaron McCullough brought his 3-year-old daughter, Ariana, to a playground in a leafy, residential suburb of Rochester, New York, on a day in mid-June when temperatures topped out at 94 degrees.

The playground is one of seven spray parks in the city that offer cooling water to area residents whenever temperatures exceed 85 degrees.

Except during a pandemic.

"I was hoping that one of these water parks could open up and at least spray a little bit of water on us," McCullough said.

Instead, he said, sweat dripping off his face, "There's no water around at all."

All of the city's spray parks and air-conditioned cooling centers were shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Read more >>