COVID-19 public health orders are much more unenforceable than previously thought, and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is showing the way. On Wednesday, Garcetti announced that he will authorize the city to shut off water and power to properties that host large house parties in defiance of health officers’ orders regarding COVID-19.
Large gatherings are prohibited by the county’s public health orders since parties are considered to be a prime environment for the virus’ spread. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 60 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the area are occurring in people between 18 and 49 years old, showing that younger residents are being increasingly careless when it comes to social distancing.
Starting Friday, Garcetti said, “If the LAPD 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.”
The new order will not be targeting small gatherings but rather large parties held specifically to break the rules, which pose a significant threat to public health.
“The consequences of these large parties ripple far beyond just those parties,” said Garcetti. “They ripple throughout our entire community because the virus can quickly and easily spread.”
Los Angeles is the US county the most affected by COVID-19 with almost 200,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.