Lack of oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients forces Orlando to reduce water use.

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source: www.orlandosentinel.com

The mayor asked citizens to avoid watering their gardens and washing their cars since these two activities consume 40% of the resource in the state of Florida.

The city of Orlando requested this Friday to reduce water consumption "immediately" because the liquid oxygen required for its treatment is being used to treat patients with COVID-19 due to the explosion of hospitalizations in Florida and the national shortage of the product.

Mayor Buddy Dyer explained Friday that there is a "great national demand" for liquid oxygen. He asked the community and businesses to refrain from watering their lawns and washing their vehicles for at least a week.

"Another result is what happens when residents are not vaccinated and become seriously ill and need urgent medical support and treatment, " Dyer complained during a press conference.

The Orlando Public Utilities Commission (OUC) said that the liquid oxygen the city's water is treated is being diverted to hospitals.

Local authorities noted that the ten trucks supplying the weekly liquid oxygen for drinking water treatment are being reduced to seven or five due to the increasing number of hospitalizations, which today exceed 17,000 in Florida.

The OUC stressed that reducing lawn and garden irrigation is critical. It accounts for 40% of water use in central Florida, home to Universal and Disney theme parks.

The Mayor's Office added that if water consumption is not reduced, they will be forced to issue a notice to boil the liquid before consuming it.

According to figures from federal agencies, there are 17,198 people hospitalized in 258 hospitals in the state, and there is only 6.9% availability of beds in the intensive care unit.

For the second week in a row, the Florida Department of Health reported more than 150,000 new coronavirus cases. According to the latest data, 150,118 new cases were presented during the past week, lower than 151,468 of the previous one.

Meanwhile, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, said he was willing to take action against governors who oppose forcing masks in schools to stop the increasing infections of COVID-19, including that of Florida, Ron Desantis.

"Some politicians try to turn public health measures, such as children wearing masks in schools, into political disputes for their benefit, " Biden said in a speech at the White House.

As the school year is about to begin, health authorities recommended that all students wear masks in classrooms, including vaccinated ones.

In both Florida and Texas, Republican authorities have prohibited schools in their states from imposing this obligation on students and say they defend the "right" of parents to decide what they want for their children.

DeSantis threatened to cut the funds of the rogue schools or even stop paying salaries to those responsible for the schools involved in those decisions.