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Baltimore Mayor Young: Evictions halted while schools are closed because of coronavirus

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, left, with Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, behind her, and other city officials, announced new proactive measures by the city to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has not yet been confirmed in any city residents. Dzirasa commended the city for limiting evictions during a critical time. March 12, 2020
Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, left, with Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, behind her, and other city officials, announced new proactive measures by the city to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has not yet been confirmed in any city residents. Dzirasa commended the city for limiting evictions during a critical time. March 12, 2020(Amy Davis)

The Baltimore sheriff’s office will stop evicting people from their homes while schools are closed due to concerns about the coronavirus, the mayor announced Thursday night.

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, together with the city’s sheriff and a district judge, “put in place a policy to allow people to remain in their homes while schools and many other government buildings are closed due to COVID-19,” according to a news release.

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Maryland’s public schools are closing Monday for the next two weeks in an attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus that has already sickened some people in the state. That means nearly 80,000 Baltimore public school students, many from low-income families, will be kept at home.

Young on Thursday requested that Baltimore City Sheriff John W. Anderson, who has jurisdiction over evictions, halt the practice during the time period when kids will be out of school.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said in a statement that housing is a one of the core “social determinants of health that impacts the health, safety, and well-being of all of our residents.” She commended the city for limiting evictions during a critical time.

Other cities across the country have ordered similar bans on evictions while they grapple with the pandemic.

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