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The heat is on

With temperatures above 90 before noon and heat index over 110, it is time to distance from the outside heat.

Near the end of July, thermometers and air conditioners all over Suffolk work overtime, while the summer’s heat and humidity do the same. For once, the year 2020 is following a normal pattern.

Outside workers, like the employees at The Corner Car Wash off North Main Street, have to take precautions when spending most of their day outside.

“We drink a lot of water and Gatorade while working out here,” said Devon Vaughn, a car washer at The Corner Car Wash. He wore a hat and wet towel on his head to keep off the intense sun.

The National Weather Service warns of the impacts of staying out too much in the heat. This extreme heat raises the chances of heat-related illnesses for those who are spending too much time outside.

“I make sure my guys get plenty of fluids and a break every hour,” said Stacy Norman, the owner of The Corner Car Wash. “I’m out here working, too, because I’m not going to let my guys do anything I wouldn’t do. Just because I’m the owner doesn’t mean I can sit in the A/C all day.”

The National Weather Service holds an excessive heat warning until 9 p.m. on July 20 for eastern Virginia and northeast North Carolina. However, the temperatures are predicted to stay in the 90s for the rest of the week.

The Virginia Department of Health has published tips to help stay healthy during these high temperatures.

4Drink plenty of fluids and stay away from beverages high in caffeine, sugar or alcohol to avoid dehydration.

4Dress in light fabrics and colors, and always apply sunscreen.

4Avoid excessive physical activity in hot temperatures, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must work outdoors, stay hydrated by drinking two to four glasses of water each hour and take frequent breaks in a cool place.

4Never keep children or pets in a car. Temperatures inside a vehicle with windows up can quickly reach over 150 degrees, resulting in heatstroke and death. Also, check on pets that are kept outside to make sure they have proper shade and water.

4Check on your neighbors. With the pandemic, may cooling stations are not open. Check on others, especially the elderly, to make sure they are safe.

4Heatstroke is very serious and requires immediate attention.

For more hot-weather safety information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.