Louisiana saw an almost 30 percent rise in deaths from COVID-19 during the last 24 hours, according to the latest data from the state Department of Health. 

In its noon report, the department showed the death toll for COVID-19 rose by 54 to 239 since its Monday update. 

The latest numbers show 5,237 cases of the coronavirus identified in the state. Of those, 1,355 are hospitalized, with 438 of those patients requiring a ventilator to breathe.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases doubled to 36 from 18 on Monday, while St. Martin Parish saw its cases rise to 32 from 20, with three COVID-19-attributed deaths. 

In St. Mary Parish, the number of cases more than doubled, from 10 on Monday to 22 in Tuesday’s report. There have been no reported COVID-19 deaths there.

Lafayette Parish saw an increase to 118 identified cases, up 36 from 82 on Monday. The parish reported its first death related to COVID-19 Friday afternoon. 

The rise in identified coronavirus infections comes as local parishes begin their own drive-through testing events. Although Lafayette Parish has been doing regular drive-through testing for more than a week, Iberia Medical Center only held its first one Wednesday, with a second planned for this upcoming Wednesday.

The state’s reference laboratory has performed 3,469 tests so far. Commercial laboratories have added another 35,498 tests.

The number of hospitalized patients has also grown. Currently there are 1,355 patients in hospital beds across the state, with 438 of them requiring ventilators to breathe, an increase of 43. That is up from 1,158 patients, 385 on ventilators Monday.

Statewide, the number of new cases rose from 4,025 to 5,237, an increase of 30 percent across 60 of the state’s 64 parishes. New Orleans is at 1,834 cases, with 101 deaths so far. The Jefferson Parish case count has risen to 1,193 with 57 deaths.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said during his Monday update briefing that if Louisiana’s number of cases continues to grow at this rate and the state is unable to flatten the curve, the New Orleans area could run out of ventilators by April 5 and hospital beds April 12.

The number of cases identified in the 50-59 age range, the largest group of confirmed cases, rose 843 Monday to 1,090 on Tuesday, including 35 fatalities — a 25 percent increase. In the 40 to 49 age group, the number of cases has risen to 993, with 14 deaths reported.  In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 938 cases reported and 42 deaths. The 70 and above group case count rose to 854 cases. The number of deaths in that group rose to 140 — the largest number of fatalities for any age group and more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined. 

There are 819 identified cases in the 30-39 age group, and six deaths. The 18 to 29 age group has 496 cases, up from 367, and one reported death. The under 18 group has 37 cases total, with one death reported.

Women continue to make up the largest part — 54 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state. Men make up 41 percent, with 5 percent listed as unknown or other.


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

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