HACKENSACK, N.J. — Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco has announced that an emergency cooling center will open on Tuesday, July 21 in the first floor cafeteria of One Bergen County Plaza from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help residents stay cool during the duration of the current heatwave.

Social distancing will be required and the location will be closely monitored by County security. One Bergen County Plaza will otherwise remain closed to the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. Residents should consider visiting municipal cooling centers before traveling to the County facility to help avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

It is also recommended that residents stay indoors if possible from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest and burns and heat strokes are more likely to occur. All age groups are at risk for heat stroke, so take necessary precautions if you have to be outdoors, including wearing sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and staying properly hydrated.

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It is not advised to leave a child or pet in a locked vehicle even for a moment as temperatures can rise quickly. It is also imperative to lock all parked vehicles so children cannot accidentally lock themselves inside while playing games like hide-and-seek.
Below are COVID-19 guidelines for the emergency County cooling center:

· All individuals, including staff, must wear face masks. If the individual does not have a face mask one will be provided to them;
· Seating will be arranged at a minimum of 6 feet apart. Only immediate family members will be allowed to sit together;
·The capacity of the room shall not exceed 50% of the posted occupancy and may be less based on the required 6 feet of social distancing;

· All individuals will have their temperature taken prior to entering the building;
· Hand sanitizing stations have been placed in the cafeteria; and
· For contact tracing purposes, individuals who wish to use the cooling center must provide identification or any document containing their name, sign in and leave their best contact telephone number.