County of Marin - News Releases - Excessive Heat Prompts Public Health Caution

For Immediate Release
September 04, 2020

Excessive Heat Prompts Public Health Caution

Three Cooling Centers to open in Marin for relief Sunday and Monday

San Rafael, CA – With predicted triple-digit temperatures over the next few days, the California State Warning Center has issued a statewide excessive heat warning through Monday, September 7. These conditions could also increase the possibility of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) early next week.

In response, three Cooling Centers will open in Marin County on Sunday and Monday (Sept 6 and 7) from 3pm to 7pm to offer residents some relief.

Safety protocols will be in place at each cooling center site to prevent transmission of COVID-19 among both visitors and staff. Measures include COVID-19 screening, use of masks or face coverings, physical distancing between individuals or household units, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and lowering capacity limits of the building. Individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath), should contact their medical provider instead of visiting a Cooling Center.

Those most vulnerable to extreme heat include older adults, people with chronic medical conditions or mental health conditions and the socially isolated. Vulnerable residents do not need to be a resident of the city cooling center location. Service animals will be welcome.

"Marin County residents living in affected areas should find relief from high outdoor temperatures," said Dr. Lisa Santora, the County’s Deputy Public Health Officer. "We urge people to be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illness and to take common sense measures to stay cool and healthy during extreme temperatures."

During this heat wave, residents should take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects for heat-related illnesses. Marin Health and Human Services suggests the following tips to stay cool and safe:


  • Do not leave children and pets unattended in vehicles
  • Limit outdoor activities
  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings and shelters or public cooling center 
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Check on friends, family and neighbors who are sensitive to heat at least twice a day


  • Drink more water than usual
  • Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside
  • Avoid alcohol or drinks containing high amounts of sugar
  • Make sure family, friends and neighbors drink enough water


  • Check local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips
  • Keep friends, family and neighbors aware of weather and heat safety information
  • Recognize the signs of a heat illness (below) and if symptoms are severe or life threatening, call 911
Know the signs of heat-related illnesses

Heat-related illness is a spectrum of disorders due to environmental factors, specifically heat exposure.


  • Weakness
  • Skin is cold, pale and clammy
  • Weak pulse
  • Fainting and vomiting


  • Move to a cooler location
  • Lie down and loosen clothing
  • Apply cool, wet clothes and cover as much of the body as possible
  • Drink plenty of water (avoid caffeine and alcohol)
  • If vomiting occurs and is continuous, seek medical attention immediately


  • High body temperature (above 103 degrees F)
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness


  • Call 911 immediately if symptoms present
  • Move the person to a cooler environment
  • Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath

Preparation can make a difference in avoiding heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Please review additional extreme heat preparation tips recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


Dr. Lisa Santora
Deputy Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Lisa Santora
Marin HHS website