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"Cool Zones" a Reprieve For Elderly as July Heat Wave Continues

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San Diego County public health officials are urging people to take advantage of “cool zones” as a July Fourth heatwave continues. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

"Cool Zones" a Reprieve For Elderly as July Heat Wave Continues

(Photo: Seniors hang out at one of the county’s "cool zones". Ana Tintocalis/KPBS .)

San Diego County public health officials are urging people to take advantage of “cool zones” as a July Fourth heatwave continues. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Seniors at the Lemon Grove Senior Center danced and socialized at a pre-Independence Day lunch. Despite all the excitement, there wasn't one sweaty brow in the crowd. That's because the center is a designated “cool zone,” which means people can hang out in this clean, air conditioned room during the day.

Health officials say cool zones are important for elderly people who are prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Nora Benitz doesn't have A.C. at her apartment. She says keeping cool is a daily struggle. 

Benitz : I am suffocating because I have my apartment closed -- I'm afraid someone will get in. So open the windows and put on the fan, then I go in the shower – it’s awful!

Cool zones can also be found at other county senior centers, recreation centers and libraries.

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.