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Oxford County Public Health issues cold weather alert

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Bitterly cold temperatures will make for a frigid start to the Family Day weekend.

Oxford Public Health & Emergency Services is issuing a cold weather alert for Oxford County with dangerously cold air and wind chills invading the region Friday night and continuing until Sunday afternoon.

The temperature is expected to drop to -22˚C overnight Friday, with a north wind that will make it feel more like -34˚C.

Environment Canada is not expecting the temperature to recover much on Saturday with an expected daytime high of -16˚C and wind chill values around -26˚C. Overnight Saturday will continue to be bitterly cold with a low of -25˚C and wind chill of -30˚C.

Sunday is expected to be mainly sunny, but only a high of -11˚C and Monday will be much improved with a forecasted high of - 1˚C.

Cold weather alerts are issued when Environment Canada forecasts an air temperature below -15˚C or a wind chill below -20˚C.

During a cold weather alert, residents should take precautions to protect themselves from the cold to avoid complications such as frostbite and hypothermia. For warning signs and symptoms, see the “Quick facts” section below.

Those most vulnerable to the effects of the cold include older adults, infants and young children, outdoor workers, those who like outdoor sports such as skiing and hiking, and homeless persons and others who do not have shelter, proper clothing or food.

For more information on Public Health’s extreme weather alerts visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/health. For more information on emergency shelters, call 211 or visit www.211ontario.ca.

QUICK FACTS

Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 35˚C, affecting the ability to think clearly and move well. If you suspect hypothermia, call 911. The warning signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. Infants may have red, cold skin and very low energy. Hypothermia is a medical emergency - get medical attention immediately.

Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Signs of frostbite include a white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. If you think you have frostbite, seek medical care. 

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