Health Officer Statement on Extreme Heat

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County, issued the following statement in response to the current extreme heat event in our region:

The record-shattering extreme heat we’re experiencing is just the latest example of our climate crisis and how it’s impacting human health now. Extreme heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States and climate change is causing increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves and other extreme weather events. In fact, the health and economic consequences of climate change are only projected to worsen.

Climate change is a health emergency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is literally a matter of life and death. Locally, I’m grateful for Executive Dow Constantine’s leadership on this existential issue, including through the King County Climate Action Plan:

With temperatures rising even higher on Monday, June 28, I urge everyone to find a cool place to stay, and avoid being out in the sun during the hottest periods of the day. I also encourage rescheduling outdoor activities scheduled for Monday. Employers should support their employees who must work outdoors to give them frequent breaks and plenty of hydration, and educate them and monitor for early signs of heat-related illness.

Please support your family, friends and neighbors to ensure that they have access to cool spaces. For more information and links to local cooling centers, visit

Originally posted 6/27/21