Mass. DCR swimming facilities to be open for extended hours during extreme heat

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Most of the state will experience a heat index value between 95 and 104 degrees on Thursday and Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service heat advisory.
The Department of Recreation and Conservation will extend operational hours across its statewide network of pools, spray decks, and ocean and fresh water beaches, Healey’s office said in a statement Wednesday.
With high heat and humidity headed for Massachusetts, Gov. Maura Healey on Wednesday said swimming areas across the state will be open for extended hours for residents to seek relief over the next two days.
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Extreme heat can pose health risks, particularly for older adults, children, and people with chronic health conditions, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Dawn Brantley said in a statement.
“As Massachusetts will experience some of its most intense heat in the coming days, it’s important for people to make a plan to stay safe – including staying hydrated, limiting strenuous activity, and checking in on one another,” Healey said in a statement. “We’re grateful to the workers who are putting in the time and effort to support these extended hours.”
On Thursday and Friday, it’s likely DCR pools will close at 7:45 p.m., beaches and waterfronts will have lifeguards on duty until 6:45 p.m., wading pools will close at 7 p.m., and spray decks will close at 9 p.m., the statement said.
Healey’s office advises swimming only in waters protected by professional lifeguards.
The DCR encourages swimmers to practice water safety, including keeping eye on children near the water, never diving head first, and avoiding drugs and alcohol, the statement said.
“Our staff will be taking extra precautions to watch out for each other and our visitors during this extreme heat,” DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo said in a statement.
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Healey’s office outlined heat safety tips, such as limiting time outdoors, staying hydrated, seeking air conditioned buildings, never leaving pets and children alone in cars, and checking on neighbors who may need assistance.
The DCR’s park alerts dashboard list areas closed to swimming due to high bacteria.
Maeve Lawler can be reached at maeve.lawler@globe.com.

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