Evictions have led to a whole lot of hundreds of additional Covid instances

Evictions have led to hundreds of thousands of extra Covid cases

Protesters display signs calling for an end to evictions and foreclosures during a rally in Boston on October 29, 2020.

David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Expiring state eviction bans have led to hundreds of thousands more cases of coronavirus, new research shows, and sounded the alarm about what will happen when the national eviction moratorium expires next month.

During the pandemic, which at one point was estimated to displace up to 40 million people, 43 states as well as Washington, DC have temporarily ruled out evictions. Many of the moratoriums only lasted 10 weeks, while some states continue to ban the process.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University, and the Wake Forest University School of Law found that lifting state moratoriums and continuing eviction procedures could hit up to 433,700 Surplus caused Covid-19 cases and 10,700 additional deaths in the US between March and September.

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The results have not yet been published in a journal, but will be available online on Monday.

“When people are displaced, they often move in with friends and family, and that increases your number of contacts,” said Kathryn Leifheit, a research author and postdoctoral fellow at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “When people have to enter a homeless shelter, these are indoor spaces that can be quite crowded.”

To best understand the direct impact of the eviction in a state on the spread of the coronavirus, researchers monitored stay-at-home orders, mask orders, school closings, test rates, and other factors. The investigation period was from March to early September, before the recent surge in cases.

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered most evictions nationwide to cease by the end of the year in an effort to contain the outbreak that left more than 12.9 million people sick and left over 263,000 dead in the United States.

If the CDC’s eviction ban is not extended to 2021, experts say many new cases will likely arise from people being evicted from their homes.

“This is a time when it is no exaggeration to say that eviction can lead to death for many people,” said Helen Matthews, communications manager at City Life Vita Urbana, a Boston nonprofit.