Thousands of New Year’s revelers were dispersed, detained or arrested in Los Angeles County through the weekend as large celebrations and parties occurred across the region, despite surging COVID-19 infections and a regional stay-at-home order barring such gatherings.

LAPD officials said they broke up at least eight New Year’s Eve gatherings involving more than 2,000 people downtown and in the surrounding area, including one warehouse party where more than 1,000 people were dispersed. Sheriff’s officials said they broke up at least five parties involving more than 900 people — including at a rented house, a vacant warehouse, a hotel and a closed business.

“I have made it clear that we will seek out and take law enforcement action against all ‘Super-Spreader’ events occurring anywhere within Los Angeles County,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement.

The enforcement continued a frustrating COVID-19 cat-and-mouse game for local law enforcement, which has been tasked for months with identifying big parties that violate health orders as party promoters go deeper underground to avoid detection.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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