St. Tammany coroner urges caution when wearing a mask amid heat index

Kenny Kuhn
July 13, 2020 - 8:40 am

St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston urges people to take caution during this heat index warning, especially now that it is mandatory for people to wear masks.

"I absolutely want people to wear masks in public and avoid large gatherings, but I also want people to be conscious of the heat threat," Preston said. "COVID-19 has health effects that emerge in and last for days or weeks; heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses can come on in a matter of hours and be deadly."

He also says the excessively hot weather should not discourage people from wearing a mask.

"If you begin to suffer the effects of excessive heat and have difficulty breathing, by all means remove your mask and tend to your symptoms," Preston said. "Stay hydrated and try to stay in air-conditioned environments as much as possible. At all times, wear a mask if you're able to do so, but don't cling to the mask mandate at the risk of heat-related illness or death."

A heat advisory for South East Louisiana is in effect until 8pm tonight. Feel-like temperatures expected to climb near 115 degrees.

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