Heat Shuts Down COVID Testing

Heat Emergency Declared Until July 22


Temperatures are expected to reach 99 degrees Monday, July 20. Those dangerously hot temperatures will shut down the District’s public COVID-19 testing sites, including the downtown and Anacostia sites and firehouse locations and the District’s grocery distribution sites.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) activated a heat emergency from Saturday, July 18 through to Wednesday, July 22. Temperatures are expected to rise above 95 degrees all three days.

Free meal sites across the city will remain open for all in need, and a list of meal site locations and hours can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov/food. Residents needing a COVID-19 test are encouraged to contact their health providers.

Select recreation centers, public schools, and homeless shelters will open as cooling centers each day from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., or until it has been deemed safe to be outdoors, through Wednesday, July 22.

If you or someone you know needs transportation to a cooling center, call the hyperthermia hotline at (202) 399-7093. Residents can find their closest cooling center using the District’s interactive map.

Note that pools and splash parks throughout the District remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until DC enters Phase 3 of reopening.

In an effort to decrease community spread of COVID-19 in the District, cooling centers have adopted the following safeguards:

  • Individuals entering cooling centers are required to wear a mask or face covering while inside the facility.
  • Individuals who do not have a face mask or covering when entering a District cooling center will be provided one.
  • Upon entering a District cooling center, individuals will be directed to an open seat that is marked off to indicate required social distancing measures.

Extreme Heat Safety Precautions

You can take steps to limit heat exposure by:

  • Staying indoors when possible;
  • Drinking plenty of liquids and avoiding drinks with caffeine and alcohol;
  • Limiting sun exposure, especially between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when the sun is the strongest;
  • Applying sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outdoors; and
  • Wearing light-colored, lightweight clothing.

For all animal emergencies, including animals left outside in extreme heat or in vehicles, call the Humane Rescue Alliance at (202) 576-6664.

Low-Barrier Shelters Open All Day

Due to high temperatures, low-barrier shelters will be open all day.


  • New York Avenue Shelter at 1355-57 New York Ave NE.
  • 801 East Shelter at 801 Making Life Better Lane SE
  • Adams Place Shelter at 2210 Adams Pl. NE


  • Nativity Shelter at 6010 Georgia Ave. NW
  • Harriet Tubman, DC General Building #27 at 1900 Massachusetts Ave. SE
  • Patricia Handy Place for Women at 810 5th St. NW
  • Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV) at 425 2nd St. NW

Families seeking emergency shelter can call 311 at any time day or night.

For information about services provided during extreme heat, visit heat.dc.gov or call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center by dialing 311. Residents can register to receive Heat Emergency alerts on their devices by signing up for AlertDC at alertdc.dc.gov.