Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti this week approved the shutdown of utilities at a Cahuenga Pass residence after officials said its owner and residents threw large parties against coronavirus-related health contracts.
The move marked at least the second time the city has shut down utilities at a reported party house and has continued warnings of the dangers of attending or hosting crowded gatherings – which officials say increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
“COVID-19 has devastated our city and our country. However, the power to stop the spread of this virus and save lives is in our hands – by wearing masks, washing our hands, keeping our distance and avoiding large gatherings, "Garcetti said in a statement Tuesday.
“The owner and residents of this house have failed to follow our public health instructions and ignored several warnings not to have big parties. Today the city cut off supplies to this house. "
Today I authorized the city to suspend utility service at a residence on Cahuenga Pass to prevent major parties from being held there in violation of public health regulations. Parties can spread the coronavirus, and hosting or attending can put life at risk.
– MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) September 1, 2020
Garcetti’s statement did not give an address for the residence, nor did it specify how long the utility lines would be cut on the property.
The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a follow-up investigation Wednesday morning.
Garcetti announced on Aug. 5 that he would authorize the city to shut down water and electricity services for residents holding large parties in violation of rules designed to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Gatherings of any size are prohibited under the Los Angeles County's Coronavirus Health Ordinance.
Officials said that this particular house in Cahuenga Pass was holding "a grand gathering" on August 24, which prompted a visit from the Los Angeles Police Department. At that point, police on the property warned of the potential consequences of violating the party ban – including the possibility that utilities could be shut down.
However, the house again hosted a Sunday congregation, officials said. Garcetti then authorized the Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy to suspend utility service on the property.
This is at least the second house whose utility service has been shut down due to such violations.
Garcetti also ordered the August 19 power outage in a swanky residence on Appian Way in the Hollywood Hills, which police said was holding parties in violation of public health regulations. Social media stars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray were indicted last week in Los Angeles on offenses related to party at the apartment building.
According to KTLA TV Channel 5, the police also left a warning notice on a Fairfax house on the 700 block of North Gardner Street that was hosting a big party Tuesday night.
With bars, nightclubs and other nightlife options closed due to the ongoing pandemic, authorities have said some Angelenos have turned to private parties to replace them. Coronavirus risks aside, some of the recent gatherings have also ended in violence – at least four house party shootings have been reported in Los Angeles County in the last month alone.
With Labor Day weekend approaching, elected officials and health officials are asking residents to act responsibly and avoid the kind of gatherings with friends and family that they say lead to a sharp rise in coronavirus infections can.
"Gatherings – parties, cookouts, and other activities we typically do with non-household members on vacation – can easily lead to increases in transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths," said Barbara Ferrer, LA County Director of Public Health. in a statement this week.
Garcetti added that choosing to host or attend a party "can mean the difference between life and death".
“No matter how young you are, your choices threaten your health. If you want to attend a party this Labor Day weekend, cancel those plans, ”he said. "If you are hanging out with friends or seeing schools and businesses reopen in the near future, we need to be smart, be safe, and beat this virus."