Aug 5, 2020 - Health

L.A. mayor authorizes utilities shut-off at homes hosting large gatherings

 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the 4th Annual Women's March LA: Women Rising at Pershing Square on January 18, 2020 in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a January event in Los Angeles. Photo: Sarah Morris/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday he's authorized the city's Department of Water and Power (DWP) to shut down utilities at locations that host large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Driving the news: Garcetti's announcement follows a fatal shooting at a house party attended by roughly 200 people last Monday, the Los Angeles Times notes.

"Starting Friday night if the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at the property and if we see these properties reoffending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request the DWP shut off services within the next 48 hours."
— Garcetti
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a legally binding health officer order in repsonse to Garcetti's directive prohibiting "gatherings, including parties, during this pandemic in order to protect the health and lives of county residents."

What they're saying: The mayor said during a briefing that large house parties "have essentially become nightclubs in the hills."

  • "These large parties are unsafe and can cost Angelenos their lives," Garcetti said.

The big picture: California is a coronavirus hot spot in the U.S.

  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health director Barbara Ferrer said the number of people aged 30 to 49 to test positive for COVID-19 had almost tripled between June and late July, while statistics for those aged 18 to 29 had quadrupled.
  • "These two age groups continue to drive new infections here in the county,'' Ferrer said.

By the numbers: California confirmed on Wednesday 2,347 new cases, taking the state total to 197,912 to date. Another 68 people died from the virus, taking California's coronavirus death toll to 4,825 to date.

Of note: An existing coronavirus health order by Los Angeles County prohibits gatherings during the pandemic.

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