Indio Fairgrounds COVID-19 testing site closes due to extreme heat

Indio Fairgrounds COVID-19 testing site closes due to extreme heat

Taylor Martinez

A coronavirus testing site at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio has closed early Thursday due to expected extreme heat in the region, the Riverside University Health System reports.

Temperatures will soar into the triple digits throughout Riverside County as a heat wave that will last through the weekend begins to grip the region.

High pressure building over the southwestern United States will remain until Sunday, with temperatures expected to peak on Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency issued a heat advisory that will be in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday to 9 p.m. Saturday in the Riverside metropolitan area and the Riverside County mountains.

An excessive heat warning will also be in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday through 9 p.m. Saturday in the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.

High temperatures Thursday are forecast to reach 115 in the Coachella Valley, 107 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 106 in Hemet, 104 in Riverside, 103 in Lake Elsinore, 101 in Temecula and 91 in Idyllwild.

Highs in the Coachella Valley are expected to top out at 117 on Friday and might even touch 118 on Saturday, forecasters said. The mercury in the Riverside metropolitan area is forecast to reach 108 on Friday, then drop to 107 on Saturday.

The NWS urged residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Also, young children and pets should be never be left unattended in a vehicle, with car interiors able to “reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes,” according to the NWS.

Riverside County officials opened 14 cooling centers countywide on June 1 with mandatory mask wearing and social distancing protocols. They are set up in community buildings like schools or senior centers already equipped with air-conditioning, and are expected to remain open until October, or as temperatures warrant.

Among the 14 locations, five are in the Coachella Valley, two in the Banning Pass, one in Moreno Valley, one in Temecula and five in Riverside.

A full list of the cooling center locations can be found at: https://www.capriverside.org/Portals/2/PDF/Cool/2020_Cool_Center_Directory_v8.p df?ver=2020-07-23-171401-730*tamp=1595549655159.