Doctors share impact of Code Red air quality alert due to Canada wildfires
“The last couple days, this hazy smokiness you can kind of seen in the air out here, have not seen this before out here and this is my 20th something summer.”
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -There is still a little smoke and haze lingering in downtown Richmond.
Doctors say the intensity does vary throughout Virginia. They warn that poor air quality can affect your health if you’re not paying attention to how long you’re outside.
“Just look outside like visually we can see the smoke,” Julie Henderson, Director of Environmental Health at the Virginia Department of Health, said.
If you walked outside this week, your eyes weren’t deceiving you. That haze in the air pushed its way into central Virginia from the Canadian wildfires.
“What we’re telling people is if they can, stay inside if they’re working or anything or have to be outside for their jobs, stay inside while it’s a Code Red,” Henderson said.
Henderson said if you must work outside:
“Try to take breaks, limit your time outside, if you they have asthma or any other underlying conditions, maybe wear an N95 mask,” Henderson said.
He says paying attention to what you see outside and how you feel is important.
“The last couple days, this hazy smokiness you can kind of seen in the air out here, have not seen this before out here. And this is my 20th something summer,” Britt Sain, Youth and Camps Director with Weinstein JCC, said.
Sain said with summer camp starting on Monday, they continue to monitor the air quality and will consider adjusting the camp schedule to ensure the kids aren’t exposed to unhealthy air.
Right now, at their other facilities and programs currently open, the kids are staying indoors for now.
“We have children from the two different main public schools, Henrico and Richmond, and we have some private school kids. This is the last week of school. As we all know, Richmond schools canceled the rest of their school year, so we’ve had kids in the building yesterday and today and we will have them tomorrow,” Sain said.
Sain, along with many others, hope the air clears out so they can continue to work as usual, but said they’re not stressed if they have to stay indoors for a little longer.
“We have 49 days of scheduled summer out here, and we will have plenty of fun out here whichever way things end up happening,” Sain said.
At last check, the air quality across Richmond was at the “unhealthy” level. You can check the air quality in your area here.
Copyright 2023 WWBT. All rights reserved.