Study from LSUA reveals scope of coronavirus in CENLA
The College of Business at the Louisiana State University of Alexandria responded to concerns of economic leaders in Central Louisiana (CENLA) over the impact of COVID-19 on the economy in the area. In doing so, the college created the CENLA Economic Dashboard.
Dr. Randall Dupont, Chair and Professor of the College of Business, then began compiling data from sources such as Google, the U.S. Census, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
The reports are slated to be released twice a month and cover the parishes of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Evangeline, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, and St. Landry.
The latest report, released Monday, April 20, showed Evangeline Parish has 1.29 cases of the coronavirus per 1,000 population. Compared to the other parishes, that ranks toward the bottom. Two parishes come in lower than Evangeline in the number of cases- LaSalle has .87 cases per 1,000, and Grant has .54 cases per 1,000. Allen Parish tops the list with 3.08 cases per 1,000. Allen Parish has the most number of cases with 3.08 per 1,000.
The chart, which can be found on Page 9, shows the majority of the parishes in the area have remained level in the number of cases. However, Rapides and St. Landry Parishes have seen the greatest spikes in the number of cases.
The dashboard went on to show a trend in unemployment claims. Here in Evangeline Parish, there were 11 such claims on March 14. That number shot up to 138 a week later on March 21. The number kept climbing and reached its peak on Saturday, April 4, with 379. A week later, the number began declining and was reported at 298. The total number in the parish as of that date is 1,079. Parishes with similar numbers are LaSalle with 1,178 and Allen with 1,169. Leading the pack are Rapides with 6,148 and St. Landry with 4,448.
The other chart on Page 9 shows a downturn in unemployment claims here in CENLA and across the state have begun to go down on the same date as here in Evangeline Parish.
The dashboard further showed a COVID-19 Community Mobility Report which reflects how visits and length of stay at different places changed on Sunday, March 29, and Saturday, April 11, relative to a baseline on Sunday, February 16.
In retail and transportation, the number was -16% here in Evangeline Parish on March 29 and was -36% on April 11. In grocery and pharmacy, the number was -4% on March 29 and 1% on April 11. As for workplace, the number was -25% on March 29 and -28% on April 11.
Among the other data found in the dashboard is a Social Distancing Scoreboard which gave Evangeline Parish a D on Saturday, April 4, and a D+ on Thursday, April 16. According to the information provided, the scoreboard represents the change in the number of potential human encounters. Higher grades represent less mobility, while lower grades represent increased mobility. Grant Parish has the highest grades of B on April 4 and B- on April 16; St. Landry has the lowest grades of D on April 4 and D- on April 16.