Schools close, splash pads open as heat wave descends on southern Quebec

·2 min read
David Adejor, six, beats the heat as he runs through water fountains in Montreal on Sunday.  (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
David Adejor, six, beats the heat as he runs through water fountains in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A hot and humid air mass has descended on southern Quebec, prompting Environment Canada to issue a heat warning for much of the region.

The weather agency is forecasting temperatures above 30 C on Monday and Tuesday. The Humidex is projected to be close to 40.

"Nights will also be warm, with lows near 20 degrees Celsius. More comfortable temperatures are expected beginning Wednesday," Environment Canada said in a statement.

The heat wave in parts of Quebec is forcing some students back to online learning.

In the Outaouais region, the Coeur-des-Vallées service centre has closed all of its schools for Monday and Tuesday.

The Western Quebec School Board, which serves English-language schools in the Outaouais and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions, is also shutting its schools down.

The schools are concerned about using fans or air conditioning because of the risk of spreading COVID-19.

They say the fact that students also have to wear masks makes it too uncomfortable to hold classes. Public schools in Montreal, however, remain open.

What do in a heat wave

On Sunday, Montreal announced it was activating the "alert" mode of its heat-wave plan, which was drafted with local public health officials.

The city is reminding residents that all wading pools and splash pads in its parks remain open. Residents are also welcome to cool themselves at air-conditioned municipal buildings, the city said.

As part of its guidelines for coping with the heat, public health experts recommend:

  • drinking six to eight glasses of water per day, before you feel thirsty.

  • cooling yourself in shaded or air-conditioned areas.

  • wearing light clothing, and avoiding dark colours.

  • taking a cold shower or using a wet towel to cool yourself.

  • reducing physical activity.

  • phoning friends and family to make sure they're OK.

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