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Data: Louisiana’s Rapid COVID-19 Acceleration Outpacing Italy, Spain, South Korea

Crowds like this one were still filling Bourbon Street in New Orleans even after the state began reporting its first COVID-19 cases. Photo by Don Pirolo (CC-BY-2.0).

COVID-19 was spreading throughout Louisiana, but crowds were still filling Bourbon Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter in the early morning hours of March 15, prompting New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to direct police to shut the it down. Now, the city and the state are under a broad “stay at home” order for non-essential travel purposes (details here) to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus. When the governor announced the order yesterday, he noted that COVID-19, has spread more quickly throughout the Bayou state than in any other state or country. The chart below illustrates that by comparing the rate of increase per capita in Louisiana with that of Italy, South Korea, and Spain.


Data Source: Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering

On Monday, Louisiana confirmed another 335 cases, bringing the total to nearly 1,200. The state also confirmed an additional four deaths, bringing the total to 34.

You can see an interactive, county-by-county map of COVID-19 infections in Louisiana and other Deep South states at

Note: In the chart above, Louisiana and the countries are aligned at “Day 0,” which is the day before each began consistently experiencing daily increases in confirmed cases, signifying community spread rather than travel-based acquisitions of COVID-19.

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