Millions of Americans are under an extreme heat advisory recommending they avoid strenuous activity and stay well hydrated — but for some restaurants and stores, the heat wave threatens worker safety and guts traffic into stores, leading to a dramatic downturn in business.

“We decided yesterday, as we were looking at the forecast and extreme heat, to close over these two days for dining,” Greg Gardner, general manager of J. Timothy’s Taverne in Plainville, Connecticut, told NBC News on Thursday. “We’ve had a bunch of these spells and witnessed the kitchen guys really taking heat from the stress of it all and stress on their bodies.”

Connecticut is among 34 states across the country under a heat-related warning as temperatures soar 10 to 15 degrees above regional averages in some places. But inside kitchens, temperatures can reach 105 to 110 degrees, increasing the risk of heat exhaustion, according to the Department of…

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