THE mayor of Los Angeles has said the city will be authorised to shut off water and power to properties where large parties and gatherings are held despite restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Eric Garcetti said house parties had become “nightclubs in the hills” and that the focus would be on gatherings “posing significant public dangers”.
The rule comes into force on Friday.
California is the worst-affected US state with over 532,000 Covid-19 cases.
State authorities have also reported 9,872 deaths resulting from coronavirus.
Los Angeles County continues to report the highest number of infections in the state – 197,912 as of Wednesday.
Last month California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered an immediate halt to indoor activities at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
But Los Angeles authorities have reported a string of house parties thrown during the pandemic. Earlier this week, a woman was fatally shot at a party in the city’s Beverly Crest neighbourhood, where around 200 people had attended.
Mayor Garcetti told reporters that parties are often taking place at homes that are vacant or used for short-term rentals.
“The consequences of these large parties ripple far beyond these parties,” he said. “They ripple throughout our entire community because the virus can quickly and easily spread.”
The US continues to grapple with the world’s biggest coronavirus outbreak, with over 4.8 million cases and at least 158,268 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.