The Louisiana Department of Health update Friday had its second highest single-day tally of new cases, climbing more than 1,700 after a record-setting 2,083 new cases were added Wednesday and almost 1,400 on Thursday.

Overall, LDH reported 63,289 newly identified cases of COVID-19 Friday, an increase of 1,728, or 2.81 percent. That comes after Thursday’s climb of 3.59 percent, to 61,561 cases. 

This week, the state identified infections count has climbed more than 10 percent. As of Friday, it has risen to 10.88 percent with two days to go.

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 23, going from 3,147 in Thursday’s report to 3,170 on Friday. That rise represents an increase of 0.73 percent. As of 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 updated each week on Monday. 

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 rose by 12, to 852, with 93 of those patients remaining on ventilators, an increase of two. In District 4, which covers Acadiana, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 13, to 149, with the number of patients on ventilators rising by three, to 21. 

Although there is not yet a shortage of hospital rooms or ventilators in Region 4, the patients currently occupying intensive care rooms inched lower, to 76.6 percent of capacity — 134 of 175 beds. Overall, 1,185 of the 1,705 available hospital beds in the region — 69.5 percent — are occupied.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 29, to 779, with 10,005 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, the parish had 259.23 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths rose by two, to 28. 

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 52, to 844. The number of deaths remained at 44, with 9,542 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24 the parish had 246.68 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose by 365, to 550, after 6,244 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 38. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24 the parish had 124.56 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 2,472 on Thursday to 2,645 Friday, an increase of 173 cases. The number of deaths increased by one, to 47. There have been 43,070 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, the parish had 207.18 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was at 9,874 on Thursday, an increase of 162, compared to an increase of 71, to 8,031 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 87,109 tests in Jefferson compared to 77,255 in Orleans.

The more urban Orleans Parish has seen 51 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 534 for a second day on Friday. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths remained at 486. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, Jefferson Parish had 134.55 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 63.94 per 100,000.

The 18 to 29 age group had 12,865 cases Friday. 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 10,259, with 56 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 9,795 cases and 110 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 9,758 cases, including 273 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 8,847. The number of deaths in that group rose by 19, to 2,157 — 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 7,937 cases reported and 560 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 3,595 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Labs in Louisiana are closing in on having processed 800,000 COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 37,397 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 746,745 for a total of 784,142 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, 53 percent to 47 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of June 30, rose to 43,026. 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. As with the number of probable fatalities, that statistic is scheduled to be updated weekly, on Monday.

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 52.79 percent  Monday, with Caucasian victims making up 45.69 percent of all cases. Other races identified include Asian at 0.71 percent, other at 0.52 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.

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 (59.98 percent), diabetes (36.65 percent), and chronic kidney disease (20.41 percent).

Other factors included cardiac disease (20.32 percent), obesity (19.22 percent), congestive heart failure (13.71 percent), neurological disorders (13.32 percent), pulmonary issues (12.09 percent), cancer (7.36 percent), and asthma (4.24 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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