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High temperatures impact 54million Americans living in the South's Sun Belt, bringing heat stroke and other related illnesses to states already struggling with record COVID-19 surges

Sun Belt states already struggling with rising COVID-19 infections and deaths are having to suffer through an extensive heat wave through the weekend and into the early days of the week.
As states like Florida, California and Texas set records on Thursday for the surge in coronavirus, Americans living in the states and others nearby grappled with whether they risked being out in the heat. As of Friday, 10,000 Texans were hospitalized with the disease.
According to the Weather Channel, searing heat will move from the Desert Southwest and Southern Plains and into the Midwest and East into the next week. 
Americans living in the Sun Belt are having to tackle extreme heat as well as a surge in COVID-19 cases. Hermosa Beach in California
Americans living in the Sun Belt are having to tackle extreme heat as well as a surge in COVID-19 cases. Hermosa Beach in California
Parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi have received excessive heat warnings
 Parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi have received excessive heat warnings
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued an excessive heat warning from southern and western Arizona into southern Nevada and southeast California. This includes Las Vegas and in Phoenix.  
'Dangerously hot conditions' will continue into next Monday for these areas, the NWS shared.  
Parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi also received excessive heat warnings.  
And heat-related illnesses add to an already stressful time for American's health, as heat stroke and other illnesses are more common during times when people spend extended time outside.  
The NWS issued an excessive heat warning from southern and western Arizona into southern Nevada and southeast California
The NWS issued an excessive heat warning from southern and western Arizona into southern Nevada and southeast California
Searing heat will move from the Desert Southwest and Southern Plains and into the Midwest and East into the next week
Searing heat will move from the Desert Southwest and Southern Plains and into the Midwest and East into the next week
The heat index neared 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston on Friday, Bloomberg Quints reports. Harris County testing sites were forced to close as a result. 
'How do you balance the need to keep people cool when it's 100 degrees, versus keeping people safe from the virus?' said James McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine. 'As it gets really, really hot and as people start to move indoors and into confined spaces, we know that the virus spreads more in confined spaces than out in the open.'  
The county currently classifies its virus risk level as 'Level 1: Stay Home' and has told residents to stay in air conditioning to stay away from the intense heat. 
'Remember to wear your face covering and social distance from others when cooling off,' the county's office of emergency management said on Twitter.
The heat index neared 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston on Friday, causing testing sites in Harris County to be closed
The heat index neared 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston on Friday, causing testing sites in Harris County to be closed
Harris County has named areas like libraries, shopping malls and community centers as places of refuge. 
'This will be next-level sort of heat, even for us,' Matt Lanza, a forecast meteorologist for Space City Weather in Houston, wrote Friday. 
Lanza encouraged residents to check on their older neighbors and loved ones.
In Texas, several hospitals -- including in Houston's huge medical complex - say their coronavirus wards are at or near capacity, amid fears of a further influx of patients in coming days. 
Central Arizona is currently under an 'excessive heat warning.' Phoenix is expected to reach 111 degrees Fahrenheit.  
Harris County currently classifies its virus risk level as 'Level 1: Stay Home' and has told residents to stay in air conditioning to stay away from the intense heat
Harris County currently classifies its virus risk level as 'Level 1: Stay Home' and has told residents to stay in air conditioning to stay away from the intense heat
Arizona has seen a steady rise since March in the use by hospital intensive-care units of artificial breathing machines. 
On Saturday, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, reopened two of its four parks -- Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom - after four months of closure. Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios will open on Wednesday. 
The state of Florida is one of the hardest-hit by a new wave of cases and deaths in the United States, already the most affected country in the world in terms of infections and fatalities.
On Saturday, Florida reported its third-highest daily increase in cases, with 10,360 new infections, as well as 95 deaths.
Overall, the US has seen nearly 135,000 deaths out of 3.2 million cases.   
Several hundred people queued in the Florida heat ahead of the park's reopening -- some sporting Mickey ears but all wearing masks, part of the park's new guidelines requiring them for both guests and employees.
On Saturday, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, reopened two of its four parks. Florida reported its third-highest daily increase in cases on Saturday, with 10,360 new infections, as well as 95 deaths.
On Saturday, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, reopened two of its four parks. Florida reported its third-highest daily increase in cases on Saturday, with 10,360 new infections, as well as 95 deaths.
Saturday's visitors reserved their tickets in advance, allowing Disney to control the number of people in the park and accommodate for social distancing. Tickets are already sold out through July.
The park was carrying out temperature checks at the entrance and hand sanitizer was widely available. Disney said it was enforcing social distancing of six feet (two meters) at attractions and inside shops.
'By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19,' the park said on its website.
Gone are the park's famous parades which allow mingling with Disney characters; also absent are the evening fireworks shows. 
People stand in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a free walk-up testing site on July 11, 2020 in Atlanta. Some other states have had to close testing for the virus due to the heat
People stand in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a free walk-up testing site on July 11, 2020 in Atlanta. Some other states have had to close testing for the virus due to the heat
In Georgia, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Friday ordered a return to the southern city's Phase 1 lockdown, telling nearly all residents to wear masks, a retreat after having partially reopened the city. Bottoms herself has tested positive.
Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, registered 435 new cases of the disease in the latest 24-hour period.
As many as 122 daily heat records are expected to be tied or broken in the upcoming week across the country, according to Lara Pagan, a U.S. Weather Prediction Center forecaster.
Some 54 million people are expected to have temperatures reach 100 degrees or more.      

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