Ascension Parish's COVID cases fall 60.1%; Louisiana cases plummet 40%

Mike Stucka USA TODAY NETWORK
Fifth-grade students in Fairfield Elementary School play during recess on the first day of school Sept. 6 in Eugene, Oregon. Students can now play with different classes during recess, a loosening of COVID protocols.

Louisiana reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 5,618 new cases. That's down 40% from the previous week's tally of 9,360 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Louisiana ranked 30th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week coronavirus cases in the United States decreased 7.7% from the week before, with 436,694 cases reported. With 1.4% of the country's population, Louisiana had 1.29% of the country's cases in the last week. Across the country, 24 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Johns Hopkins University has been getting data on an erratic schedule from Louisiana, skewing week-to-week comparisons.

Ascension Parish reported 79 cases and minus one death in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 198 cases and zero deaths. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 39,815 cases and 300 deaths.

Across Louisiana, cases fell in 58 parishes, with the best declines in East Baton Rouge Parish, with 319 cases from 678 a week earlier; in Lafayette Parish, with 276 cases from 564; and in Ouachita Parish, with 299 cases from 563. ​

>> See how your community has fared with recent coronavirus cases

Within Louisiana, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in East Carroll Parish with 598 cases per 100,000 per week; Caldwell Parish with 544; and Union Parish with 344. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.

Adding the most new cases overall were Caddo Parish, with 421 cases; Orleans Parish, with 415 cases; and Jefferson Parish, with 350.

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In Louisiana, 54 ​ people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 46 people were reported dead.

A total of 1,448,503 people in Louisiana have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 17,977 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 95,658,236 people have tested positive and 1,053,419 people have died.

>> Track coronavirus cases across the United States

Louisiana's COVID-19 hospital admissions falling

USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Sept. 18. Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:

  • Last week: 544
  • The week before that: 605
  • Four weeks ago: 797

Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:

  • Last week: 57,618
  • The week before that: 58,248
  • Four weeks ago: 66,210

Hospitals in 15 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 14 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 22 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.

The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at mstucka@gannett.com.