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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Sheriff’s Department will not follow through with evictions that were already in the works before the county’s coronavirus-related moratorium on removing renters — reversing earlier plans.

“The Sheriff’s Department had planned on resuming evictions that were in effect prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the department said in a news release.

“We have heard from several elected officials. Although they agree serving these evictions are perfectly legal, they expressed concerns about the impact. Accordingly, the Sheriff’s Department has decided to suspend eviction service pending further discussion.”

The evictions would not have violated the county’s moratorium, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, but were criticized by officials who said carrying out evictions during a pandemic would only exacerbate economic and health concerns in the county.

“Now is not the time to place vulnerable people at a higher risk of losing their homes,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher wrote in a letter to Sheriff Bill Gore.