By Meg McNamara

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Code Blue alert has been issued for Baltimore through Thursday morning as temperatures are expected to fall into the teens with wind chill, officials say.

Code Blue is a multi-agency effort to reduce hypothermia deaths by protecting vulnerable populations from extreme cold weather.

“With dangerously cold temperatures expected in Baltimore, I am issuing a Code Blue Declaration beginning Christmas night through Thursday morning and encouraging residents to stay indoors, especially those most vulnerable to cold,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said in a press release Monday.

“Extreme cold temperatures can permanently injure, or even kill. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can be just as dangerous as extreme heat, so it is important to stay indoors in heated areas. Please be sure to check on your elderly neighbors to ensure that they have heat and power.”

Normal highs for this time of year are in the 40s, according to WJZ’s Meg McNamara. Projected daily highs through this weekend don’t even get out of the 30s.

“This cold air is not going anywhere anytime soon,” Meg says.

In 2016, 11 people died from hypothermia in Baltimore City, according to the commissioner’s office. This winter, there has been one death from hypothermia.

The health commissioner may declare a Code Blue when temperatures, including wind chill, are expected to be 13 degrees or below — or when other conditions are severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable Baltimore residents.

This is the second Code Blue alert for Baltimore this season.

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