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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.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court rejects GOP effort to block drive-through voting in Texas' biggest county

Poll station workers receive voting machines, registration paper and disinfection products on Nov. 1 in Harris County, Texas. Photo: Zeng Jingning/China News Service via Getty Images

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied late Monday a Republican effort to block drive-through voting in Harris Country, Texas, on Election Day.

Where it stands: The county will allow one drive-through voting at only one location on Election Day — instead of 10 — to stay fully within state code that allows the practice in "buildings," as the other centers were in tents, according to county clerk Chris Hollins.

Drought, record heat wave in West tied to climate change

People on Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, California, U.S., June 16, 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The prolonged and widespread heat wave in the West, along with the region's increasingly severe drought, is a sign of how climate change has already tilted the odds in favor of such extremes, studies show.

Why it matters: The rapidly growing Southwest, in particular, is also the nation's fastest-warming region. The combination of heat and drought could lead to a repeat, or even eclipse, the severity of 2020's wildfire season in California and other states.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

What to watch as infrastructure talks heat up

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A mix of Beltway action and extreme weather events have brought the fault lines in infrastructure talks and their planetary stakes into sharper focus.

Catch up fast: Senate Democratic leaders pledged to seek big climate measures in a multitrillion-dollar, Democrats-only package that faces a very narrow political path.