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Heat emergency shuts down COVID-19 testing sites in DC; Cooling centers open

With sweltering heat across the area, cooling centers are set up. But there are coronavirus precautions in place to keep people safe.

WASHINGTON — A heat emergency is in effect in D.C. through Wednesday, July 22.

That means testing sites will close and a number of cooling centers around the city will be open, including certain rec centers, libraries, and schools.

An interactive map on the D.C. government website can help you find the closest near you.

But according to that information, summer meal sites are currently unavailable for cooling.Also pools and spray parks are closed until further notice.

If you head to a cooling center, keep in mind there will be some extra precautions in place because of the pandemic.

For example, you will be required to wear a mask inside a center and social distancing will be enforced with marked seating.

But don’t worry for anyone who doesn’t have a face mask or covering when entering -- one will be provided.

And it’s not just the District facing this brutal heat wave.

In Montgomery County, MD, a heat emergency alert was declared. That started at noon on Sunday and will go until at least Tuesday.

This plan is only activated when the heat index is expected to top 105 degrees.

Like D.C., you have to wear a mask at every cooling center, and county leaders are asking you not to show up to one if you are sick.

You can also call 311 for more information on the closest cooling center to you in the District.

Those cooling sites in D.C. are open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Also, in Montgomery County the sites open Monday will also be open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

The county is also closing some free COVID-19 testing sites.

RELATED: Heat Advisory Monday for temps near 100 degrees, possible evening storms

RELATED: LIST: Here's where to find a cooling center in DC to take shelter from the heat

RELATED: Extreme heat impacts hikers, outdoor enthusiasts in the DMV

RELATED: Floods, rip currents and excessive heat: Here's how summer weather can be extra hazardous

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