Drastic move to end ‘superspreader’ parties
Melbourne's second wave has been attributed to workplace transmission and spread with families.
But in the US city of Los Angeles, where cases have tripled in recent months, there is one factor being blamed for the spike in coronavirus diagnoses - people having large parties.
It's so much of a problem that laws came into effect on Wednesday giving Los Angeles authorities the power to shut off water and power at properties that host gatherings.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the parties were "superspreader events" attended by "superspreader people".
"These large parties are unsafe and can cost Angelenos their lives," he told reporters.
If police confirm that a large party has been held at a residence then authorities will first notify owners of the breach and then request that the city's water and power departments shut off services to the property in 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," Mr Garcetti said.
In the past two weeks alone there have been three large gatherings in Los Angeles that have sparked concern among health officials.
On Monday night more than 100 people attended a house party at a swanky mansion on Mulholland Drive, with video footage of the event showing little social distancing.
The event ended in tragedy when someone opened fire at the party, killing one person and injuring others.
There was also a mask-optional indoor party hosted at a Hollywood bar last week that was reportedly attended by up to 150 police members, CNN reports.
Sources said the party was being held to "honour first responders" but the event has since sparked an internal investigation.
A large wedding was also held with "several hundred" guests, which included attendees flying in from New York State and caterers, KLTA reports.
LA police tried several times to shut the large gathering down after noise complaints but were unsuccessful.
More than 530,000 people in California have been diagnosed with coronavirus, with 9800 deaths recorded as a result of the virus.
Around 40 per cent of COVID-19 cases have occurred near or in the Los Angeles County area.
"Gatherings of people from different households is such a bad idea at this time, particularly as this is happening just as many have expanded their contacts with others, because they are back at work or they are going out shopping and they're eating out," Dr Barbara Ferre from the Los Angeles Country Department of Public Health said.
"Gatherings are simply not allowed at this point."
The problem with parties isn't isolated to Los Angeles either, with authorities in New Jersey investigating after a Las Vegas-style pool party got wildly out of control last weekend.
Videos posted to social media showed hundreds of revellers partying at a mansion in the up-market town of Alpine in New Jersey.
Most weren't wearing masks and things took a turn as the night wore on - with partygoers spilling out to the street and some passing out drunk,
Flyers posted by party promoters advertised the event as "The Lavish Experience Pool Party".
In Australia authorities too have been forced to crack down on illegal parties, with multiple gatherings held in Sydney's eastern suburbs shut down over one weekend last month.
Footage of one of the parties showed someone's home in Bondi turned into a nightclub, packed with more than 100 people and sparking outrage.
In the Sydney suburb of Schofields a police helicopter and dog squad were called in to shut down a house party that led to more than $60,000 in fines for breaching coronavirus rules.
100 partygoers were also fined $1000 each for attending a bush rave in Thredbo late last month.
Originally published as Drastic move to end 'superspreader' parties