Cooling centers open around Detroit as heatwave enters 7th straight day of 90 degrees

With Metro Detroit reporting a seventh straight day of 90-degree temperatures, July 2020 is on pace to be one of the hottest ever.

But such extremes are cause for concern with heat advisories in effect for all surrounding counties from now until the end of the week. In response to the scorching summer weather, the city is converting several of its recreation centers into cooling centers for any in need of some relief from the heat.

"We have to be prepared to protect people, to make sure they are safe so offering cooling centers I think is a great service to our citizens," said Keith Flournoy, deputy director of General Services Recreation Division.

Dotted throughout the city, there will be five cooling centers that will be open, including:

  • Adams-Butzel Recreation Complex at 10500 Lyndon
  • Joseph Walker Williams Center at 8431 Rosa Parks
  • Farwell Recreation Center at 2711 E. Outer Drive
  • Kemeny Recreation Center at 2260 S. Fort St.
  • Patton Recreation Center at 2301 Woodmere

The centers will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

"We were able to pair up the cooling centers with the location that we're out doing the food distribution program, and so it works out because we are placed throughout the city which will allow people to get to some of those locations without traveling too far of a distance," said Flournoy.

Don't think restrictions related to the pandemic just disappear when going to a cooling center, however. Workers at each station will be screening for COVID-19. Anyone entering a facility will have their temperature checked and will be required to wear a mask. If they don't have one, they'll be given one. 

Social distancing will also be enforced.

"It's the new normal, it's our new normal. People are adjusting and just trying to stay well and healthy the best they can," Flournoy said. "This is the first time in my years that I've experienced something of this nature."

Crews will also be sanitizing high traffic areas like restrooms and door handles every two hours to slow the spread. Each facility will be deep cleaned every 12 hours.