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What you need to know for Friday, July 31, 2020

Good morning Tampa Bay! Thanks for waking up on the Brightside with us.

TAMPA, Fla. — Good morning Tampa Bay, we made it to Friday. 

Here are the top stories you need to know about heading into the weekend.

We have Hurricane Isaias 🌀

Last night, Isias strengthened into the second hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season. 

Hurricane Isaias is forecast to strengthen again into a Category 2 storm Saturday morning.

The forecast model trend of shifting the storm’s expected path near Florida's east coast has continued today. 

Hurricane warnings are now in effect for the Bahamas, and Tropical Storm watches are in effect for the southeastern Florida Coast, from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet. Additional watches or warnings may go into effect for the eastern coast of Florida Friday. 

Keep in mind, this path may change some but the confidence in this forecast path is growing and becoming consistent with each update.

RELATED: Hurricane Isaias forecast to strengthen into a Category 2 storm Saturday morning

Bring the heat 🔥

Hurricane Isiais isn't the only thing on the forecast we should be watching. 

The Tampa Bay area and parts of Central Florida will be under a heat advisory from noon to 6 p.m. today. The heat index is forecast to get up to 110 degrees.

The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. You should:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay inside as much as possible or take frequent breaks
  • Wear lightweight, lightly colored clothing
  • Take it easy

Be sure to check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If you think you or someone you know may be experiencing heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

RELATED: Heat Advisory issued for Tampa Bay area

Not closing anymore

As Hurricane Isaias continues to track east toward Florida's coast, some state-run COVID-19 testing sites previously set to close ahead of the storm's potential impacts will now stay open. 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management confirmed 12 counties on the west coast with state-run sites will no longer close.

State-run test sites on the east coast will still not operate. Those sites closed as of 5 p.m. Thursday and can reopen on a rolling basis as the storm passes, according to the agency. 

You can find a full list of counties with sites that will stay open here. 

RELATED: Florida no longer closing state-run COVID-19 west coast testing sites due to tropical weather