I saw this Wall Street Journal article, but I am still struggling to understand what federal and local laws are protecting people from evictions during this pandemic?
It's a law in the sense that it was ordered by someone given authority to give orders. The Washington order is here, and is more extensive that what is found in some other states (the easiest order to give is a non-enforcement order directed at sheriffs). In Washington, residential landlords also cannot serve notice of unlawful detainer, and even prohibits initiating judicial action seeking a writ of restitution for non-payment. This falls under the category of things that he can do, under the emergency powers granted to the governor by the legislature. The extent to which parties are immunized from the obligation to pay rent is quite variable.