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.
The order targets repeat offenders who have hosted large gatherings several times during the pandemic, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday.
It's meant to deter them from hosting parties or events in the future, during a period of the pandemic when California continues to lead the country in coronavirus cases.
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.
Starting this Friday, if the Los Angeles Police Department responds and confirms that a large gathering is taking place at a property, they'll give notice and request that the city's Department of Water and Power shuts off service to that property within the next two days.
"This enforcement is not focused on small and ordinary gatherings in people's homes. These are focused on the people determined to break the rules, posing significant public dangers and a threat to all of us," Garcetti said during a Covid-19 news conference.
Garcetti called the parties "super-spreader events," attended by "super-spreader people."
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.
Partying has become a problem in Los Angeles, where cases have surged in the weeks since California reopened. Gov. Gavin Newsom said in late July that coronavirus was on track to become the second-leading cause of death in Los Angeles County, after heart disease.
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."