Amid heat wave, how are LA’s cooling centers adhering to social distancing rules?

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California’s heat wave continues, and the excessive heat warning for Southern California is in effect until Thursday. As more Angelenos are stuck indoors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many without air conditioning, the need for city-provided cooling centers is ever present. 

Aram Sahakian, General Manager for the Emergency Management Department for the City of LA, says the cooling centers are adhering to strict social distancing guidelines, but that means only being filled to 25% of their usual capacity. It also means having a full supply of PPE. 

He says, “We have a whole different division … ensuring that protective equipment are set aside for these cooling centers because not everyone walks in wearing a mask to these centers. Not everybody has them.”

Sahakian says that in spite of a looming budget crisis, he is confident that the cooling centers will meet the needs of Angelenos, even as more heat waves are likely to come this summer and fall.

Angelenos can check where the nearest cooling centers are to them via the City of LA’s website.



  • Aram Sahakian - General Manager for the Emergency Management Department for City of LA


Jarrett Hill