As COVID-19 spreads, access to water, washing hands is critical

  • As of Wednesday March 11, 2020, Casey Moore of the City of Edmond stated the City had not discussed this matter.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On Wednesday, the City of Oklahoma City Utilities Department acknowledged that 14,672 households with residents in Oklahoma City, or approximately 6.9 percent of Oklahoma City’s total water utility customer base, had their water shut off in 2019 due to underpayment of bills. The acknowledgement comes after Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-5) called on congressional leadership to include support to address high water bills and water shut offs during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends Americans regularly wash their hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of illness.

In a release earlier today highlighting the Congresswoman’s letter to congressional leadership, the Office of Congresswoman Horn cited 2016 reports by the Associated Press and by Food and Water Watch counting 26,500 homes which had their water shut off in Oklahoma City, a number which ranked Oklahoma City among the top U.S. cities for resident water shutoffs. Oklahoma City disputed that number and offered an updated number for 2019: 14,672 homes experienced a water cut off last year.

The reports come during the continuing spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States. The CDC reports that “handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.” A list of recommended steps for washing your hands and times when washing your hands is key is made available here by the CDC.