According to the latest update from the Louisiana Department of Health, more than a quarter of the state's 64 parishes have a resident who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The LDH 9:30 a.m. update shows that the virus has spread to 17 parishes. Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Josh Guillory held a 10 p.m. press conference Wednesday to announce two cases detected in that parish.
The state has also noted the eighth death from the virus. The 60-year-old individual was a St. James Parish resident, the first outside the greater New Orleans area.
The first patient to die from COVID-19 outside Orleans Parish was a 72-year-old individual from Jefferson Parish who died Wednesday. The first two deaths from the disease occurred last week in New Orleans. Both victims were patients in their 50s with underlying conditions at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans. The next four victims were all residents of Lambeth House, the location of the only known cluster of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana. Those patients were all over 80 years old.
The number of cases identified through the state’s reference lab rose by 67 to 347 from the 280 at the LDH 5:30 p.m. Wednesday update.
The increase marks a 47-percent jump in the number of known cases in the state over the last 24 hours.
The number of tests administered at the state lab also increased overnight, from 703 Wednesday evening to 805 this morning. That number does not include tests from commercial labs or other drive-through testing stations. As more testing sites come online, the number of known infections in the state will likely continue to rise quickly.
In addition to the new cases identified in Lafayette and the fatality in St. James, which had been previously unreported, a new case was identified in Plaquemines Parish and another in West Baton Rouge Parish. Three new cases are also still under investigation to determine the parish of residence of the patients.
Statistics released Thursday also show that the largest age group of known COVID-19 cases is made up of people between 40 and 49 years of age, with 81 cases. The second-largest group is the a70 and above group, with 73. There are 65 in the 60 to 69 age range and 64 cases that fall in the 50 to 59 range. They are followed by the 30 to 39 range with 45 cases and 18 cases in the 18 to 29 age group.
The report also identifies the first under 18 case.
The identified cases so far are predominantly in female patients, with 53 percent to 47 percent for males.
The breakdown of cases by parish of the patient’s residence is as follows:
• Ascension - 2 case
• Bossier - 2 cases
• Caddo - 7 cases
• East Baton Rouge - 5 cases
• Jefferson - 62 cases, 1 death
• Lafayette - 2 cases
• Lafourche - 4 cases
• Orleans - 231 cases, 6 deaths
• St. Bernard - 4 cases
• St. Charles - 4 cases
• St. James - 1 case, 1 death
• St. John the Baptist - 2 cases
• St. Tammany - 10 cases
• Terrebonne - 4 cases
• Washington - 2 case
• West Baton Rouge - 1 case
The next update from the Louisiana Department of Health should come at 5:30 p.m.