At a Wednesday news conference, the mayor authorized the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to cut off utility service to properties whose occupants are caught violating COVID-19 health orders.
He said the measure, set to take effect Friday, is targeted at those “determined to break the rules” and are known to have “repeatedly engaged in such behavior” rather than first-time offenders.
“If the [Los Angeles Police Department] responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties reoffending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that [the Department of Water and Power] shut off service within the next 48 hours,” Garcetti said.
“By turning off that power, shutting down that water, we feel we can close these places down,” he added.
The mayor’s announcement comes amid a recent spike in coronavirus cases across Los Angeles County. The county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said Thursday that residents under the age of 50 now make up more than 60% of new COVID-19 diagnoses.
With bars and nightclubs shuttered, officials say many of the city’s young adult residents are nonetheless taking a cavalier approach to coronavirus health restrictions and flocking to private house parties, often without wearing masks.
“These large parties are unsafe and can cost Angelenos their lives,” Garcetti said Wednesday.
His announcement followed a large house party in the Beverly Crest neighborhood of Los Angeles that drew noise complaints and continued past midnight on Tuesday. It ended in a shooting that left one woman dead and four other people injured.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, there had been more than 197,912 cases of COVID-19 across LA County as of Thursday afternoon.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.