By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
The Town of Cobourg is responding to forecasts of extreme cold warnings by opening a Warming Centre for those who are vulnerable and for those seeking relief from the cold temperatures, beginning Jan. 14.
This location is the Cobourg Community Centre at 750 D’Arcy St., accessed with entry and exit points on the front lobby entrance adjacent to D’Arcy Street.
The Warming Centre will provide a warm indoor place to seek relief from the extreme cold with chairs and couches and access to washroom facilities. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with 1,420 sq. ft. of space to allow for physical distancing,
All public-health protocols regarding COVID-19 will be followed to ensure the safety of all those accessing the centre, including physical distancing, mandatory use of masks, hand washing, no food or beverages, conducting symptom screening and monitoring, and enhanced cleaning procedures.
Waring Centres are generally activated with the local Medical Officer of Health issues an Extreme Cold Weather Alert – based on a forecast from Environment and Climate Change Canada of -15 degrees Celsius (or colder) or when the wind chill is expected to reach -20 degrees Celsius (or colder) for 24 hours or longer.
“Forecasted temperatures are expected to reach the threshold to warrant an ECWA, and therefore the town will be activating a Warming Centre beginning Friday due to the sudden, significant drop in temperature and wind chill values,” Cobourg Emergency Planner Shannon Murphy said in the announcement.
Extreme cold warnings and wind chill creates an elevated risk to health, such as frostbite and hypothermia. Risks are greater for young children, older adults, people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter. Residents are advised to call 911 if an individual is in distress or requires immediate assistance.