Acadiana leads state in reported cases of coronavirus in schools
Acadiana schools lead the state in reported novel coronavirus cases among students and staff, according to data from the Louisiana Department of Health.
LDH reported there were 97 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff at schools in LDH’s Region 4, which encompasses Acadia, Iberia, Evangeline, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion parishes.
The breakdown included 26 staff, faculty or volunteer cases and 71 student cases.
The case numbers represent cumulative reports and not all COVID-19 cases are necessarily active, LDH public information officer Sean Ellis said.
Cases for schools are not currently broken out in active infection and recovered categories.
The data is courtesy of a state-mandated school reporting system established by emergency order Sept. 1. Each K-12 school in the state is required to report confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases to the state health agency.
Each school receives a password-protected account to submit their case information when they register for the reporting system.
State Superintendent Cade Brumley said the centralized database will help the Louisiana Department of Education and schools track outbreak patterns and make decisions about when to quarantine a class or school.
A parish or system-level breakdown was not provided this week, but Ellis said the department is adapting how the data is reported as more schools enroll and it’s possible a parish-level breakdown could be available in the future.
This is the third week of reporting via the new system and the first where infection numbers have been broken down by region.
As of the latest report, 1,103 of the state’s K-12 schools were enrolled in the program and 523 COVID-19 cases had been reported.
Region 5, which covers the Hurricane Laura-hit region of southwest Louisiana, has 27 enrolled schools but had no reports. Region 5 parishes include Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis.
Acadiana was closely followed by Region 2, including East Baton Rouge Parish, which reported 96 cases among students and staff.
The state database, while providing little breakdown, is one of the best looks at how COVID-19 is spreading in Louisiana schools. Each school system or standalone academy has taken its own approach to reporting COVID-19 cases to families.