COVID-19 update

The state Department of Health update Tuesday showed the state adding more than 2,100 identified infections to its COVID-19 total as the number of ventilators in use in the Acadiana area continued to exceed its April peak.

On a somewhat positive note, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers the Acadiana region, dropped from 252 on Monday to 250 Tuesday. But the number of patients on ventilators rose by two, to 42. Previously, Region 4’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations had peaked on April 10, at 125, with ventilator use peaking on April 12 at 37.

The intensive care bed occupancy rate dropped Tuesday to 77.7 percent, with 148 of the 180 beds in Region 4 occupied and 32 ICU beds still available. The total number of ICU beds dropped by one to 180 in Tuesday’s report.

Tuesday’s report also showed that 1,250 of the 1,711 available hospital beds in the region — 73.1 percent — are occupied. 

Statewide, hospitalizations due to the disease increased overnight by 5.16 percent, climbing to 1,362 Tuesday, an increase of 54. As of Tuesday, 146 of those patients were on ventilators, up four from Monday. 

For perspective, the hospitalizations statewide peaked at 1,991 on April 12, with ventilator usage peaking at 571 on April 4. 

On Tuesday LDH reported 82,042 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 2,165, or 2.77 percent, from Monday’s running total of 79,827. Over the last week, the state’s number of identified infections grew 20.19 percent, from 68,263 last Tuesday.

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 22, going from 3,315 in Sunday’s report to 3,337 on Tuesday. That rise represents an increase of 0.66 percent. As of last Monday, 108 of those deaths were still considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing. The number of probable deaths attributed to COVID-19 is now updated each week on Wednesday. 

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 71, to 1,408. The number of deaths rose by one, to 52, with 12,355 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5 the parish had the second-highest incidence rate in the state, with 810.53 cases reported per 100,000 population.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 60, to 1,110, with 12,932 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5, the parish had 622.89 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths rose by two, to 29.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose from 801 to 843, after 7,982 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 39. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5 the parish had 498.25 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 3,988 on Monday to 4,216 Tuesday, an increase of 228 cases or 5.72 percent. The number of deaths rose by one, to 55. There have been 55,162 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5, the parish had 673.03 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was at 11,450 on Tuesday, an increase of 194, compared to an increase of 101, to 8,846 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 102,488 tests in Jefferson compared to 90,559 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 47 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths rose by two, to 542. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths remained at 495. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5, Jefferson Parish had 339.82 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 171.61 per 100,000.

Statewide, the 18 to 29 age group had 18,806 cases Monday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 11. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30-39 age group was at 13,525, with 59 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 12,527 cases and 121 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 12,188 cases, including 296 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 10,338. The number of deaths in that group rose by 13, to 2,256 — still the largest number of fatalities for any age group by far, more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined and two-thirds of the total COVID-19 attributed deaths in the state.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 9,603 cases reported and 592 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 5,606 cases total and added its fourth reported death.

Labs in Louisiana have processed almost a million COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 43,928 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 932,527, for a total of 976,455 tests. 

By gender, the state’s daily report shows women making up the largest part — 56 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state, with men comprising 42 percent and the other two percent identified as unknown or other. 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 July 7, rose to 46,334. 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. The breakdown of COVID-19 fatalities by ethnicity and race showed some change last week, with the percentage of those deaths in the black community making up more than half of all cases. 

Initially, LDH reported that 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state were in the black community. That number has since hovered in the mid-to-high 50-percent range. It was at 52.42 percent  last Monday, with Caucasian victims making up 46.05 percent of all cases. Other races identified include Asian at 0.72 percent, other at 0.50 percent, Native American/Alaska Native at 0.13 percent and Native Hawaiin/Pacific Islander at 0.08 percent. That data is only reported once a week, updated on Wednesday.

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

The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the latest report were hypertension (62.09 percent), diabetes (37.82 percent), and cardiac disease (21.22 percent).

Other factors included chronic kidney disease (20.41 percent), obesity (19.86 percent), neurological disorders (14.52 percent), congestive heart failure (14.32 percent), pulmonary issues (12.54 percent), cancer (7.62 percent), and asthma (4.28 percent).

 

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

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