By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A new study from UCLA has linked evictions to further spread of the coronavirus.

Researchers say the number of COVID-19 cases increased five-fold and deaths from the disease doubled after states lifted eviction moratoriums that had been put in place to protect people who were out of work and struggling to make rent during the pandemic.

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Evictions decreased the ability to social distance because people were forced into crowded housing or homeless shelters, according to the study. They also found the threat of eviction may have forced people to engage in work, exposing them to COVID-19 transmission.

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“Each of those outcomes connotes an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Kathryn Leifheit, a postdoctoral scholar at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said in a statement.

The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, analyzed data from Washington D.C. and the 43 states that passed eviction moratoriums – 27 of which expired before September of 2020, and 17 of which were extended until at least September. Eviction moratoriums were not enacted in seven states.

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The research was cited in the order extending the federal eviction moratorium to July 31, 2021. In California, the eviction moratorium was extended through Sept. 30.