Orlando mayor says residents need to save water due to COVID-19 surge

People wearing facemasks line up at a COVID-19 testing site at Orlando International Airport.

The mayor of Orlando, Florida, is urging residents to conserve water due to a shortage of liquid oxygen due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Due to the continued surge of COVID-19, nationally and in the City of Orlando, OUC is experiencing an unprecedented event and needs the community’s assistance,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (D) said in a press release, WESH 2 reported.

The liquid oxygen used in hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients is the same liquid oxygen used to treat the city’s water supply, according to the mayor.

Due to the nationwide oxygen shortage, Orlando Utilities Commission Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Linda Ferrone said the city is already running low on liquid oxygen, as it normally receives 10 containers per week but is only getting five due to the shortage.

Residents have been asked to reduce their water consumption because there may not be enough liquid oxygen to treat all of the water needed at the city’s current levels of consumption.

“I know our community, working together, can overcome this,” Dyer said. “We always come together when faced with adversity and I know that we will unite to be part of this effort.”

According to the local outlet, the city will reduce the amount of water it uses to maintain parks and other outdoor areas.

“To aid the City of Orlando in its request to reduce water usage, Orlando Health will seek to implement a combination of manageable water conservation measures across our health system. These measures will have a minimal impact to the operations of our health system and will be continuously evaluated and adjusted as needed to ensure the best use of our resources according to the needs of our patients,” Orlando Health said in a statement.

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