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Charlottesville opens cooling centers as temperatures hang in the 90s

With temperatures expected to hover around 90 all week, Charlottesville city officials are planning to open some parks and recreation facilities in an effort to help residents beat the heat.

Key Recreation Center and Tonsler Recreation Center will open beginning Thursday as cooling centers for residents who need a respite from summer.

That date coincides with the anniversary of last year’s July heat wave with temperatures in the upper 90s that drove the heat index — summer’s version of winter’s wind chill — into the triple digits.

National Weather Service meteorologists say this year will not be nearly as hot, predicting local temperatures will not rise much above 95 for the next week, with most highs expected between 89 and 92. No heat warnings have been issued, but city officials are making the center’s available for those who need to cool down.

Parks and Recreation staff said no physical activity will be allowed in the centers and all social distancing, face masking and other Centers for Disease Control and Virginia Health Department COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

A facemask and temperature check will be required to enter the facilities. Water fountains will be turned off but bottled water will be provided at all locations as needed.

Key Recreation Center is located at 800 E. Market St. and Tonsler Recreation Center is located at 501 Cherry Avenue. The hours of operation for both centers are Noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and both are closed on Sundays.


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