Child under age 4 reported dead from COVID

The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed another child death Friday from COVID-19 in the state.

According to a press release from LDH, the child was between the ages of 0 and 4. The agency will not provide any further information on the child’s death.

That brings the total of pediatric deaths during the Delta variant surge to eight in Louisiana. In total, 17 children younger than 18 have died from COVID in the state.

“No parent should have to bury their child,” State Health Officer and Medical Director Dr. Joseph Kanter said. “We owe it to ourselves, our children and everyone around us to take advantage of the best protection we have, and that is the vaccine and wearing a mask.”

According to Friday’s LDH update, the state recorded 39 new COVID-19 deaths since Thursday, bringing the total to 13,988. The number of COVID-19 cases reported rose by 1,373 since Thursday, to 741,906.

Iberia Parish had logged 12,256 COVID-19 cases as of Friday, an increase of 21. The parish COVID-19 death toll rose by one, to 220. In St. Martin Parish, new cases identified brought the total there to 8,229, an increase of 12. The number of deaths rose by one, to 158.

In St. Mary Parish, new cases rose by 13, to 8,392, with deaths remaining at 209.

According to Friday’s LDH data, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide was at 838 Wednesday, a drop of 39. Data showed the number of patients on ventilators rose by one, to 149.

In Region 4, which encompasses the Acadiana area, hospitalizations were down by 12 to 68 Thursday, the lowest they had been since July 11 and a far cry from the more than 400 hospitalized at the peak of the Delta variant surge. The region’s number of ventilator cases remained at nine.

Region 4’s ICU bed occupancy was at 131 Thursday. There were 31 ICU beds available across the seven-parish area. That put the percentage of occupied ICU beds down to 80.8 percent.

In Region 3, which stretches from St. Mary Parish east to Lafourche and north to St. Charles, 34 of 44 ICU beds were occupied as of Wednesday, but that total is down by 52 from the 96 ICU beds available prior to Hurricane Ida’s passage. To the west, where Region 5 encompasses the area from Allen, Jefferson Davis and Cameron parishes to the Texas-Louisiana state line, 28 of 84 reported ICU beds were available.

The overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 was at 75.2 percent Thurssday, with 424 of 1,710 beds available.

As of Sept. 22, the state’s seven-day COVID-19 test percent positivity was at 5.1 percent, down from 6.7 percent on Sept. 15.

In Iberia Parish, the seven-day test positivity average was at 8.3 percent on Sept. 22, down from 11 percent on Sept. 15. In St. Martin Parish, the percentage rose slightly, from 6 percent on Sept. 15 to 6.5 percent on Sept. 22. St. Mary Parish saw a 22 percent decrease, from 8.2 percent on Sept. 15 to 6.4 percent on Sept. 22.

New seven-day test positivity rates are released each Wednesday for the week ending seven days prior.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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