BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Code Blue Extreme Cold Alert has been issued for Baltimore City from Tuesday evening through Thursday morning, City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa announced Monday.

The alert was issued in response to frigid air approaching the Baltimore metro area, which is predicted to drop wind chill into the teens. Code Blue alerts are routinely issued when temperatures including wind chill are expected to reach 13 degrees or below outside.

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“With dangerously cold temperatures expected in Baltimore, I am issuing a Code Blue Extreme Cold declaration for Tuesday night through Thursday morning. I encourage residents to stay indoors, especially those most vulnerable to cold,” Dr. Dzirasa said.

“Extreme low temperatures can be life-threatening especially for our most vulnerable populations. Please be sure to check on neighbors who you think may be at risk to ensure that they have heat and power, and take care to shelter pets appropriately.”

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Three cold-related deaths have been documented in Baltimore City during this winter season, according to figures provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

As WJZ previously reported, there were 57 cold-related deaths last winter, according to figures provided by the Maryland Department of Health. Of those, 19 were recorded in Baltimore, the city’s second highest total over the past nine years.

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A Code Blue alert signals that there is an elevated risk for cold-related injuries and even death for people who spend too much time exposed to the cold. As a result, the city health department recommends taking the following steps to be safe:

  • Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing.
  • Always wear a head covering, like a hat and/or scarf, when outdoors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Protect yourself against falls in icy or snowy conditions by walking slowly and avoiding steps or curbs with ice on them.
  • Check on those who are most vulnerable including children, the elderly, and/or chronically ill.
  • Provide appropriate shelter for domestic animals.

CBS Baltimore Staff