Baltimore declares first Code Blue of the winter

Posted at 9:46 AM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 06:12:28-05

Baltimore's first Code Blue of the season goes into effect overnight Wednesday and extends until noon Friday.

City Health Commissioner Leana Wen announced the Code Blue Wednesday morning as temperatures were expected to fall into the teens with wind chill making it feel like it's in the single digits.

See also: Where and how to stay warm in extreme cold weather

The Health Commissioner can declare a Code Blue when temperatures, including the wind chill, are expected to be 13 degrees or below or when other conditions, like strong winds or extended periods of cold, are determined severe enough to pose a threat to vulnerable people living in the city.

“Code Blue means that we encourage residents to stay indoors in heated areas,” Wen said in a release. “Extreme cold weather can be just as dangerous as extreme hot weather. This is the time to watch out for those most vulnerable among us, especially children, older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions. Because the highest risk is during the early morning hours, be sure to check on your elderly neighbors to ensure that they have heat and power tonight.”

Code Blue involves multiple agencies working together to reduce hypothermia deaths. Last winter there were three hypothermia-related deaths in the city, according to a release.