BOSTON (WHDH) - South Station in Boston will remain open on upcoming cold winter nights for those needing shelter from potentially dangerous frigid temperatures. 

Gov. Maura Healey announced the decision to keep the station open on GBH this week, reversing a policy that previously had the station locking up at 11 p.m. 

“It’s a matter of basic humanity in my view,” Healey said.

Temperatures are forecast to plunge Friday and Saturday, with wind chills expected to dip below -20 degrees in Boston. 

With the sudden freeze looming, Healey said she recently connected with South Station officials, the private security company that works at the station and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Cofounder Jim O’Connell.

“I am going to be clear, if we face extreme weather, we are going to be allowing people to stay there overnight,” Healey said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has declared a cold weather emergency for Friday through Saturday. Boston will turn local community centers into warming shelters over the weekend. Boston Police will be handing out gloves, jackets, hats and hand warmers. And city outreach workers have already been working to connect with people experiencing homelessness to alert them of the cold and pass along information on options to stay safe.

“Boston is moving quickly to ensure that everyone is protected from the intense cold weather that will start Friday and last through the weekend,” Wu said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. 

Officials have urged individuals to check on loved ones and neighbors. Those who need to be outside should layer up. 

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