The mayor of Orlando, Fla., is asking residents to conserve water, as the surge in COVID-19 cases has caused a liquid oxygen shortage.
"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 mayor said the liquid oxygen used in hospitals for COVID-19 patients is the same liquid oxygen used to treat the city’s water supply.
Orlando Utilities Commission Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Linda Ferrone said the city is already low on liquid oxygen, as it normally gets 10 containers per week but is limited to five containers due to the nationwide oxygen shortage.
Residents have been asked to limit water use, as there might not be enough liquid oxygen to treat all the water needed at the city’s current consumption levels.
"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."
The city will be limiting how much water it uses to maintain parks and other outdoor areas, according to the local outlet.
“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.
The mayor also discussed vaccination, saying it was the only way out of this surge.
"It's another result of what happens when people don't get vaccinated, become critically ill and require medical treatment," Dyer said. "If you haven't been vaccinated, now is the time."