The new school year is less than a week old, and already, the Lafayette Parish School Board is reporting triple-digit COVID-19 cases.

According to data released by the Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday, Lafayette Parish elementary and secondary schools have reported 104 coronavirus cases on their campuses. Of those cases, 67 of them are in students; the other 37, in faculty or staff members. Those figures come from all of the schools--public and private--that are enrolled in the LDH school reporting system.

Evangeline Parish has the second-highest school COVID rate so far this school year with 54 cases. Students make up the vast majority of those cases. According to the LDH report, 48 Evangeline Parish students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, while only six teachers tested positive.

The data does not account for all schools or all parishes. None of Vermilion Parish's schools reported data, while only a handful of schools in Iberia and St. Landry Parishes reported their figures.

LDH released this new data about an hour after the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education abruptly adjourned the meeting in which it was debating enforcing Governor John Bel Edwards's mask mandate in schools. That adjournment happened after anti-mask protesters, including Central pastor Tony Spell, refused to wear masks and interrupted the meeting.

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