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Garcetti: City Will Shut Off Water And Power For Party Throwers 'Flagrantly' Violating Health Orders

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced tonight that he has authorized the city to shut off water and power at homes and businesses that continue to host large parties and gatherings, "in flagrant violation" of health orders:

"Starting on Friday night, if the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties re-offending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that DWP shut off service within the next 48 hours."

The mayor said that large gatherings are the highest risk settings for spreading the virus, according to the county public health department, especially when face coverings aren't worn. He called them "super-spreader" events and said organizers are breaking the law.

"The consequences of these large parties ripple far beyond just those parties," Garcetti said. "They ripple throughout our entire community." He added that some research indicates 10% of people cause 80% of COVID-19 cases.

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Although bars are shut down and large gatherings are not permitted under current health orders, Garcetti said these large house parties "have essentially become nightclubs in the hills," often at short-term rental properties.

He said although this new rule applies only to large parties, not small family get togethers, officials hopes that Angelenos will continue to avoid all gatherings.

This new policy is likely a response to several large parties that made headlines this week. On Friday, dozens of patrons (who may or may not have included LAPD officers) drank the night away at the Sassafras Saloon in Hollywood, sans masks. The music was reportedly so loud that it “vibrated security bars.”

And on Monday, LAPD officers responded to noise complaints about a mansion party on Mulholland Drive that ended in deadly gunfire.

District 4 Councilman David Ryu introduced a similar motion today that also aims to "crack down" on rowdy COVID-19 parties through shutting down utilities.

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TESTING UPDATES

The city is piloting a new program to bring COVID-19 testing to people who don't have access to cars, in the form of walk-up testing at kiosks that will have capacity to test 500 people a day. The mayor said he hopes to have them up and running by the end of August.

Walk-up tests will aslo be available at L.A. Fire Department trailers with walk-up windows, starting this week, in lower income communities hit hardest by the virus, including Cypress Park, Wilmington and Vernon. All sites can be found at coronavirus.lacity.org/testing, or by calling 311.

Garcetti added that the average turnaround time for receiving test results at city testing sites is currently 23-30 hours.

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