Resuming Evictions Caused Thousands of Covid Deaths, Researchers Say

Resuming Evictions Caused Thousands of Covid Deaths, Researchers Say
Photo:Angela Weiss/AFP (Getty Images)

As tens of millions of people in the United Stands stand at risk for eviction in the coming months, new research claims that as many as 10,000 people died of covid-19 earlier this year as a direct result of eviction bans coming to an end.

Researchers found that allowing evictions to resume after states and municipalities had lifted the various short-term moratoriums they’d imposed during the coronavirus pandemic led to as many as 433,700 additional covid cases and as many as 10,700 covid-related deaths in the United States between March and September, CNBC reports. That’s about 3.5 percent of the total number of cases in the U.S. (12,999,664) and 4.1 percent of the total deaths (263,956), per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As co-author Kathryn Leifheit of UCLA explained to CNBC, evictions spur covid transmission by forcing people into new environments with new people in them while undermining their ability to properly quarantine or otherwise control their surroundings. “When people are evicted, they often move in with friends and family, and that increases your number of contacts,” Leifheit said. “If people have to enter a homeless shelter, these are indoor places that can be quite crowded.”

The researchers—from the University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Francisco; Johns Hopkins University; Boston University; and Wake Forest University School of Law—came to their alarming findings, which are as yet unpublished but will be made available online next week, after controlling for a variety of factors including mask orders, school closures, stay-at-home orders, and others. Read more about their research here.

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