Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014
JEFFERSON COUNTY -- As bitterly cold air moves into the region, the new Good Samaritan Regional hospital in Mt. Vernon and St. Mary's hospital in Centralia will double as warming sites.
"The people who already have cardiovascular disease or asthma, or those that might have blood pressure problems, (the cold) just exacerbates the problem," said Rose Aldag-McVey with St. Mary's, "If you're not feeling well, the perfect environment is here," she added.
Staying anywhere warm can be the difference between life and death. Aldag-McVey says the facilities are ready to provide relief from the cold.
"It's very important that people have a resource that they do not remain in a cold home or car. It's very important that they find a warm site," she said.
The main entrance, lobby, and lounges are all open. The hospitals are a warm place to stay, even overnight, and a chance to get a warm meal inside the cafeteria.
The public areas were empty Wednesday, besides employees. But a dozen or so people have already come in for relief this season.
"The ones that have come in are so grateful, they appreciate the service, we are thrilled to have them..." Aldag-McVey said, "The emergency staff is ready and available to help those that need other services."
Both hospitals' warming sites will be open around the clock, for the duration of the cold. The facilities typically see people overnight when temperatures are lowest.
Wind: 9 MPH
Humidity: 73 %