Heat Alert declared

    TORONTO, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of
Health has issued a Heat Alert for today. The Heat Alert will be in effect
until further notice. During a Heat Alert the public is encouraged to call or
visit friends and neighbours who are at risk of suffering health consequences
because of hot weather. People at greatest risk include the elderly, infants
and young children, the chronically ill, and those taking certain medications.
Hot weather early in the season can have a more significant impact on
vulnerable people as they have not yet adjusted to warmer temperatures.

    The public is advised to "Beat the Heat" by taking these precautions:

    -  Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
    -  Stay out of the blazing sun or heat
    -  Avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors
    -  Go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of more
       than 190 local library branches, or numerous air conditioned community
       centres located in each neighbourhood. Toronto's civic centres are
       also available to the public as cooling places during Heat Alerts.
    -  Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car
    -  Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to set
       up dedicated cool rooms and check on vulnerable tenants.

    Many homeless shelters will also allow people to stay inside during the
day to keep cool.
    During Extreme Heat Alerts, the civic centres are operated as Cooling
Centres where additional amenities are provided for those in need. More than
450 service providers and community partners implement hot weather response
plans to assist vulnerable people during Heat Alerts and Extreme Heat Alerts.
    Those in need of assistance may call the Red Cross Heat Information Line
at 416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
    Termination of all heat alerts are posted on our website at
www.toronto.ca/health. For all regular updates and more information, please
visit our website.

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and
innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to
prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

                 Visit our website at www.toronto.ca/health

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Rishma Govani, Toronto Public
Health, (416) 338-7974 (weekdays), (416) 690-2142 (weekends only); Tanya
Elliott, Canadian Red Cross, (905) 890-1000 ext. 202 or (416) 442-1948

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