- The Pacific Northwest is struggling with a heat wave. Portland recorded its hottest day of Sunday.
- Balancing the threat of heat and COVID-19, capacity limits have been abandoned in swimming pools, theaters and shopping malls.
- Officials said no one would be removed from a cooling center due to crowding problems.
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On Friday, the Oregon Health Authority suspended capacity limits in swimming pools, movie theaters and shopping malls, as the threat of disease due to record heat has begun to outweigh the risks of spreading the coronavirus, CAT reported.
The Pacific Northwest is in the throes of a sweltering heat wave, with Portland, Oregon, recording its the hottest day ever Sunday with a maximum of 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
A particular challenge of the heat wave is to ensure that citizens have access to air conditioning and swimming pools to cool off, while also protecting them from the ongoing COVID-19 fire.
“In many ways, we’ve talked a lot with the health department about this priority, so first of all, we want to get people out of this extreme heat,” Chris Voss, director of emergency management at KATU, told Multnomah County.
In addition to the capacity limits that have been abandoned in swimming pools, theaters and shopping malls, health officials at several counties said no one would be removed from a cooling center due to space restrictions, KATU reported.
Oregon vaccination rates and low COVID-19 case counts could be why officials have priority to keep people cool this weekend.
On Friday, Gov. Kate Brown said Oregon will reopen no later than June 30, and said the state was 35,000 shots away from vaccinating 70 percent of the adult population, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
On Sunday, the State announced 138 new COVID-19 cases, but no new deaths, The Oregonian reported.