Is Pandemic Eviction Ban as Effective as it Seems?

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Is Pandemic Eviction Ban as Effective as it Seems?

With the COVID-19 pandemic came the preponderate job loss in the United States, and to stop further spread of the disease across communities, many local and state governments temporarily pause evictions during the spring of 2020. Right, when these protections were about to expire in September CDC announced a national eviction ban.

The researchers at John Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania with the help of computer modeling concluded that the eviction bans during pandemic have lowered the rate of infection, minimized the spread of disease, and protected people from losing their houses. This Eviction Ban order has been under discussion in the court about its effectiveness in the control of infection transmission.

A research team of John Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania aimed to document the impact of the Eviction Ban on COVID-19 spread for which they used mathematical models to study how infections spread. By using simulation for the prediction of additional COVID-19 infection in chief U.S cities they observed the effects of evictions had been allowed in the fall of 2020. According to their calculation, with a minimal eviction rate of 0.25%/month, the 5,000 additional cases were estimated, which is similar to the pre-pandemic level in cities like Atlanta, Arizona, and Detroit.

The mathematical model was first calibrated to reconstruct frequent epidemic patterns of chief U.S cities in 2020, by considering the rate of changes in infection rate with time due to public health policies, later it was modified to complement reported COVID-19 cases and deaths. This model helped in tracking the spread of infection in and out of households. In the second version of the model, the estimation of transmitting the virus was calculated by the lifting of eviction bans. This study suggested that in the absence of eviction bans, the evictees people who shared household that hosts evictees are 1.5 – 2.5 times are at higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 than if the eviction bans were in place. The transmission rate increases as the evictees move to another household, adding to the density of people living under the same roof. Therefore, the risks of getting COVID-19 escalates for the entire population of the city, in the absence of eviction bans.

In other versions of the model, some scientists have divided cities into neighborhoods based upon socioeconomic status and confining restrictions to a particular district, still, the results suggest the lifting of eviction can increase infection rate. Opponents of eviction bans argue that evictions have affected only a small part of the population but the simulation studies suggest that evictions can put the households and entire communities at risk of contracting disease, because as it comes to communicable diseases, like COVID-19, “no neighborhood is entirely isolated”, says Alison Hill, of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins.

To reduce the economic burden of disease and to lower the risk of infection by COVID-19, the government should extent eviction bans along with considering financial assistance for tenants, landlords, and resources for households to limit the spread of SARS-COV-2 within the house.

Keywords:

COVID-19, Eviction ban, national eviction ban, infection, emerging diseases

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