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New Orleans East And Westbank Hit Hardest By COVID-19

Louisiana Department of Health
New data from the Louisiana Department of Health shows the number of COVID-19 cases in each Census tract as of April 19, 2020.

There are more cases of COVID-19 in New Orleans East and on the Westbank than anywhere else in the New Orleans area, new data from the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) shows.

This is the most specific look at where people are getting sick since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Louisiana.

The map provided by the LDH shows the number of cases in each Census tract as of April 19. Tracts in dark blue have 94 to 170 known cases, tracts in light blue have 57 to 94, tracts in green have 28 to 57, tracts in dark beige have 12 to 28, and tracts in light beige have 1-12.

The clusters are clear: New Orleans East and the Westbank have been hit hardest. And that island of blue in the center? Downtown New Orleans. (For reference, because it's hard to tell: the Superdome is in the western corner of that tract.)

New Orleans Public Radio pulled five-year data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey on race and household income for the top 10 tracts.

Credit Patrick Madden / WWNO

The 10 Census tracts with the highest number of cases are all in Orleans and Jefferson parishes.

Each of the most affected Orleans Parish tracts is 93 or 95 percent black. The poverty rates there range from 25.1 percent to 34.9 percent. Median income ranges from $26,755 to $34,698.

The Jefferson Parish tracts encompass a much wider demographic range. They are range from 25 to 92 percent black, with poverty rates of 3.8 to 25 percent. The median income ranges from $31,354 to $92,507.

Statewide, there are no other Census tracts with 94 to 170 cases. Few tracts outside Orleans and Jefferson parishes have cases in the 57 to 94 range — and those are all relatively nearby.

Credit Louisiana Department of Health
Louisiana Department of Health

There are some holes in the data. The LDH notes that "tracts with a 2010 population below 1,000 did not have cases matched to them."


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Ashley Dean is the digital news editor for New Orleans Public Radio. Before coming to New Orleans, she was the editor of Denverite, a digital news startup now under the Colorado Public Radio umbrella. Prior to that she was a copy editor and features writer at the Denver Post, and before that, a music reporter for the Colorado Daily. She graduated from Columbia University with a master's degree in journalism and from Northeastern University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Patrick Madden joined WWNO in 2019 as its first-ever Regional News Director, overseeing news reporting at WWNO, as well as our partner station WRKF Baton Rouge. Madden also serves as one of the hosts of Louisiana Considered, and co-hosts Friday's Politics Roundtable on Louisiana Considered with Stephanie Grace, columnist for The Times-Picayune | The Advocate.

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