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Friday’s daily report on COVID-19 data from the Louisiana Department of Health showed the state adding 696 new cases, raising the total identified infections so far in the state to 178,870.

The state added 20,078 new test results Friday, making the rough positivity rate for that day’s tests 3.5 percent.

According to the Friday update, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 rose to 5,614, an increase of 21 from 5,593 on Thursday. 

That rise represents an increase of 0.38 percent. The average age of fatal patients is 75, the median age 76. As of Oct. 21, 206 of those deaths were still considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing. The number of probable deaths attributed to COVID-19 is updated each week on Wednesday.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases was at 3,059 Friday, a decrease of one. The number of deaths rose by two, to 95, with 35,537 tests performed in the parish. The LDH latest two-week incidence map update showed that the parish’s positive test rate rose 9.2 percent, from 107.13 cases reported per 100,000 population on Sept. 23 to 117 per 100,000 on Oct. 7.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose to 2,201, with 31,153 tests performed. The LDH two-week incidence map shows that on Oct. 7, St. Martin Parish had 83.92 cases reported per 100,000 population, a 36.4 percent increase from 61.54 per 100,000 on Sept. 23. The number of deaths remained at 63.

In St. Mary Parish, total cases rose by 4, to 2,015, after 21,848 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by one, to 85. The LDH incidence map shows that on Oct. 7 the parish had 116.53 cases reported per 100,000 population, down 39.7 percent from 162.74 on Sept. 23.

In Lafayette Parish, the Thursday case count rose to 9,380, with the number of tests rising to 151,452. The number of deaths rose by one, to 138. The LDH incidence map shows that the parish had 101.33 cases reported per 100,000 population on Oct. 7, down 15.5 percent from 119.86 on Sept. 23.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 18,539 on Thursday, an increase of 48, compared to 13,368 in Orleans Parish, an increase of 44. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 246,155 tests in Jefferson compared to 302,784 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen nine more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 592. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose by two, to 583. The LDH two-week incidence map shows that on Oct. 7, Jefferson Parish had 114.5 cases reported per 100,000 population, up 5.7 percent from 108.28 on Sept. 23. In Orleans, that number was 93.6 per 100,000 on Oct. 7, down 5.9 percent from 99.49 on Sept. 23.

The LDH reporting of data on hospitalizations due to the disease runs 24 hours behind its testing data. On Friday, the state reported 620 hospitalizations as of Thursday, a decrease of 22  from 598 on Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators rose by one, to 65 Thursday. That is down from 64 on Wednesday. 

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, rose by four to 66 Thursday. The number of patients on ventilators Thursday remained at seven.

The overall intensive care bed occupancy rate in Region 4 was still high Thursday at 84.8 percent, with 134 beds occupied and 24 ICU beds still available. The total number of ICU beds available was at 158. That is still down from the count of active ICU beds before Hurricane Laura, which hovered above 180.

Thursday's data showed that hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 was at 79.1 percent, with 1,215 of the region’s beds occupied and 321 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,536.

When compared by age group, the number of cases in the 18 to 29 demographic was at 39,682 Friday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 25. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 28,696, with 81 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 26,357 cases and 180 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 25,855 cases, including 484 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 20,575. The number of deaths in that group rose by 16 to 3,820 — still the largest number of fatalities for any age group by far, more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined and more than two-thirds of the total COVID-19 attributed deaths in the state.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 20,345 cases reported and 1,019 deaths. This age group has the second-highest number of deaths, behind only the 70 and above demographic group.  

The under 18 group, the smallest demographic segment, had 17,152 cases total and five reported deaths.

The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of Oct. 16, the last date reported, was 27.75 tests per 10,000 residents. The positivity rate among those tests was 5.41 percent.

In Region 4, the Oct. 16 testing rate was well below the state average, at 23.6 tests per 10,000 residents. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was above the state average, at 5.71 percent.

According to Friday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed at least 2,667,505 COVID-19 tests so far. 

The state has also started tracking possible cases, which is the number of individuals with a positive test detecting SARS-CoV-2 antigens. That number was 3,733 as of Oct. 21. According to an LDH spokesman, individuals initially identified as having a positive antigen test who are later identified as having a positive confirmatory test will be removed from the probable case count and added to the cumulative case count.

By gender, the state’s daily report shows women making up the largest part — 55 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state, with men comprising 44 percent and 1 percent unknown. On the other hand, the COVID-19 deaths are predominantly among men, 52 percent to 48 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of Oct. 21, rose to 165,282. In order to be considered recovered, a living patient must either be out of the hospital and 14 days past a positive test result, or 21 days past a positive test date if their hospitalization status is unknown.

On Oct. 21, the weekly update of fatalities by race showed the percentage of COVID-19 deaths among White victims continued to climb. Initially, LDH reported that 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state were in the Black community. That number has since dropped to 45.44 percent as of Oct. 21, while White victims now make up 53.15 percent of all fatal cases. 

The Native American/Alaskan Native total was at 0.11 percent. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander data remained at 0.08 percent. Other races identified include Asian at 0.7 percent and Other at 0.48 percent.

The number of Black deaths is still disproportionate to the demographics of the state’s population. African Americans make up less than 40 percent of Louisiana’s populace.

That data is only reported once a week, updated on Wednesday.

The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the latest report were hypertension (52.12 percent), diabetes (30.96 percent), and cardiac disease (20.68 percent).

Other factors included neurological disorders (19.68 percent), chronic kidney disease (18.07 percent), obesity (16.65 percent), congestive heart failure (13.3 percent), pulmonary issues (11.38 percent), cancer (6.63 percent), and asthma (3.37 percent).


Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at

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