LA threatens to shut off utilities at homes that throw big parties

Homes that throw parties in Los Angeles risk having utilities switched off following a fresh crackdown on large gatherings.

The county’s department of public health said in a statement that it “has issued a legally binding health officer order” that bans gatherings, including parties, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti authorised the city’s department of water and power to shut down utilities at locations that have hosted big gatherings.

It comes after a deadly shooting at a mansion party around 1am on Tuesday on Los Angeles’s Mulholland Drive, where a 35-year-old woman was killed.

Police said two men and two women were injured in the incident but are expected to survive.

“These large parties are unsafe and can cost Angelenos their lives,” Mr Garcetti said at a news conference.

The county order is to “protect the health and lives of county residents,” the health department said. Violation or failure to comply could result in a fine, jail time or both.

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“We urge every resident in Los Angeles County to follow the health officer order and avoid organising and attending gatherings that include people outside their own household,” the health department said.

“The highest risk settings are large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and where face coverings are not worn. The consequences of these large parties ripple throughout our entire community because the virus can quickly and easily spread,” the department continued.

Los Angeles police Lieutenant Chris Ramirez said Tuesday’s shooting was being treated as “gang-related”.

No arrests have been made.

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Social gatherings are prohibited under California’s stay-at-home order. Before the shooting, police had received calls about a party taking place nearby at around 6:30pm on Monday.

Police officials told NBC Los Angeles that officers helped with traffic and parking control but did not enforce the county’s health order prohibiting large gatherings during the pandemic

An NBC Los Angeles helicopter captured video of a long line of cars going up to the home’s driveway, as well as a party bus dropping off revellers.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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