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Friday, September 18, 2020

Garcetti Says Water, Power Will Be Turned Off From Places Holding Large Gatherings

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Aug. 5 that he is authorizing the city to cut off water and power to any residence or business that holds a large gathering.

Garcetti said this policy would go into effect on Aug. 7.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced on Aug. 4 that the county is instituting an order against gatherings that is “legally binding” after a large party was held at a Beverly Crest mansion.

The party was held on Aug. 3; police initially arrived at around 6:30 p.m. to respond to noise complaints. They impounded cars that were blocking the road but otherwise no other action was taken because the party was at a private residence. Police returned at 1:15 a.m. in response to a shooting at the mansion. One person died and two others were injured, authorities said.

The shooting is believed to be gang-related, according to police.

According to the county statement, only gatherings among people in the same household or living unit is allowed; failure to comply could result in a fine, jail time or both.

“The highest risk settings are large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and where face coverings are not worn,” the statement read. “The consequences of these large parties ripple throughout our entire community because the virus can quickly and easily spread.”

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during an Aug. 5 press briefing, “Gatherings are simply not allowed at this point under the health officer order because they create a lot of risk for transmission at activities that really are not essential. These parties and gatherings with people not in your household hurt all of us as we try to reduce our case rates so we can get our children back to school and get other adults back to their jobs.”

She added: “We ask that everyone make good decisions.”

Officials announced 2,347 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county on Aug. 5 and 68 deaths from the virus, bringing the county’s totals to 197,912 and 4,825, respectively. Ferrer pointed out that technical issues with the state over the past two weeks have caused a backlog in testing results; she expects the number of confirmed cases in the county to spike once the backlog is cleared.

However, she said that the backlog doesn’t affect the number of recorded hospitalizations and deaths from the virus, both of which have been on the decline over the past couple of weeks.

“We continue to be cautiously optimistic that our efforts over the past few weeks may be starting to slow the spread,” Ferrer said on Aug. 4.

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