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May 12th - Ottawa Public Health Beat the Heat 2022

Beat the Heat

When both temperature and humidity are high, it can be hard for our bodies to keep cool and not overheat. Extreme heat events can cause heat-related illnesses and in some cases, even death. Environment and Climate Change Canada issues heat warnings for Ottawa based on a forecast of:

  • A daytime temperature of 31ºC or higher and nighttime temperature not cooler than 20ºC for at least two days, or a Humidex of 40 for at least two days.

Heat warnings mean extra precautions need to be taken by everyone. People at even higher risk of getting sick from the heat include infants and older adults; pregnant women; those who work or exercise outdoors; those with pre-existing health conditions; people experiencing homelessness; and people without access to air conditioning. It is important to think ahead and plan for ways to stay cool and keep in touch with others who may have difficulty staying cool, especially during a heat warning.

COVID-19 is still present in Ottawa. There is still a risk of transmission and the risk of infection and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is greater for some individuals than others

Wearing a face mask when it is hot may require extra breaks from the heat. See below for

more information on wearing face masks in hot weather.

Please check the City of Ottawa's website for opening dates, locations and hours of service on and for the following public facilities:

Protect Yourself and Help Others During Hot Weather

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

  • Avoid heavy outdoor activity.

  • Wear a hat, light and loose-fitting clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses when outside.

  • Bring a parasol or an umbrella and water when leaving home in case you need to wait outdoors in the heat, such as waiting in a lineup.

  • Cool off in an air-conditioned space when available including libraries, malls, museums, and movie theatres.

  • Cool off in the shade or at a park or green space.

  • Use a fan and mist your skin with water.

  • Take cool baths and showers as often as needed or soak hands or feet in cool water.

  • Breastfeed according to your child’s cues and drink plenty of water if you are breastfeeding. See our Parenting in Ottawa website for more info on keeping children safe during hot weather.

  • Keep your home cool by closing blinds and curtains on any windows facing the sun.

  • Open windows at night once the outdoor air is cooler than the indoor air; close windows in the morning before hotter air comes in.

  • Use fans at night to help exhaust warm indoor air and/or bring in cool outdoor air.

  • Talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you are taking medications as some can make it harder to control body temperature.

  • Stay connected with people in your community who may have a difficult time coping with hot weather and those who live alone. Check on them regularly.

Hot weather concerns and face masks:

Wearing a mask is important to decrease the transmission of COVID-19 in any indoor setting where it may be difficult to maintain at least a two metres distance from others, or where the room or corridor is small.

Wearing a mask may not be necessary outdoors if adequate distances (two metres or more) from others can be maintained. Ottawa Public Health strongly encourages everyone to avoid crowded areas and to wear a mask when physical distancing may be difficult.

Masks do become more uncomfortable in hot temperatures, but they will still work as long as they are not wet. If sweat is an issue, keeping at least one extra mask on hand can help. Plan outdoor outings for cooler times of the day and take breaks in the shade or a cool environment if you are finding your face mask uncomfortable in the heat.

For people undertaking physical exertion in the heat, a mask can make the effort more difficult. Decreasing intensity and volume of work, more frequent rests, and more cooling breaks may be necessary. Discuss your health needs with your employer if your work demands will expose you to the heat.

For more information visit our website at or call us weekdays at 613-580-6744.

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