A drop in liquid oxygen due to COVID-19 patients is forcing changes in how Tampa water is treated. Hillsborough County posted a notice warning there could be a change in taste and odor of water as the county switches to “sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach” at the Lithia Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility.
Residents are asked to conserve water when possible as the area seeks to maintain enough liquid oxygen for patients in the hospital.
Hillsborough County assures residents that utilities customers “will continue to meet all local, state, and federal regulations for drinking water.” The statement also reads, “Tampa Bay Water continues to work with its vendors to restore regular deliveries. In addition, Tampa Bay Water is adjusting the regional blend of water sources to accommodate the change in available deliveries of liquid oxygen.”
A similar situation is occurring in Orange County across I-4. Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) last week on Friday posted a notice saying, “to reduce demand for liquid oxygen, OUC is asking water customers to immediately limit irrigating their lawns and landscapes. If OUC’s liquid oxygen supplies continue to be depleted and water usage isn’t reduced, water quality may be impacted. But, we believe that will not happen if everyone does their part to conserve water.” Mayor Demings also joined OUC in pleading for water conservation.
The Delta variant has caused a massive surge of hospitalizations and Coronavirus cases in Florida. The surge is straining the entire healthcare system including first-responders and also funeral homes which recently said they are “stacking bodies” due to an influx of deaths they have never experienced in earlier waves of the pandemic.
Over 5 South Florida officers have been reported dead in the last week due to COVID-19 and a number of teachers have also passed away as school begins and parents are ensnared in a mask debate playing out at school boards around the state.
Parents, the NAACP, and counties have launched lawsuits against Florida Governor Ron Desantis and his administration to remove a law that bans mask mandates in Florida.
Child hospitalizations have hit a record high and doctors are fearing that the worst is yet to come with no vaccines for children under 12 expected until next year.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as of August 25th there are 17,164 inpatient beds in use for COVID-19 or 30.85% of all patients in Florida. There are also 26,203 new COVID-19 cases and 9 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 42,731 for the Sunshine State.
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