COVID-19

Thursday's update from the Louisiana Department of Health showed 305 new identified cases of COVID-19 in the state as the number of hospitalizations continues to trend downward.

The state’s Thursday update reported 38,802 identified cases of COVID-19 in the state, a 0.79 percent rise over Wednesday’s figure of 38,497.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped by 37 to 761. The number of patients statewide on ventilators remained the same at 100.

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths increased by 18, going from 2,617 on Wednesday to 2,635 in Thursday’s report. That rise represents an increase of 0.69 percent. As of May 24, 105 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. 

In Iberia Parish, the total number of cases rose by one to 404 Thursday. The number of deaths remained at 37, with 4,289 tests performed in the parish.

In St. Mary Parish, one new identified case was added, bringing that parish’s total to 309 after 2,996 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths in the parish remained at 29.

St. Martin Parish identified cases rose by one to 293 with 3,001 tests performed. The number of deaths remained static at 22.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count climbed by six to 695. The number of deaths rose by one, to 25. There have been 15,322 tests reported in the parish.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose by 30 to 7,424 on Thursday, compared to a rise of 22 new cases in Orleans Parish to bring that total to 7,067. Both parishes have had similar numbers of tests conducted — 45,555 in Jefferson compared to 44,496 in Orleans.

Even with similar case and test numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 64 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish reported deaths dropped by one to 505. Jefferson rose by three to 441 fatalities.

The number of Louisiana COVID-19 cases identified in the 50-59 age range rose to 7,142, including 233 fatalities. 

The 70 and above group case count rose to 6,763 cases, making it the age group with the largest number of identified cases. The number of deaths in that group rose to 1,767 — 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 40 to 49 age group, the number of cases has risen to 6,440 with 98 deaths reported. There were 6,185 identified cases in the 30-39 age group, and 45 deaths. In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 5,954 cases reported and 480 deaths.  

The 18 to 29 age group had 5,393 cases and 10 reported deaths. The under 18 group had 925 cases total, with two deaths reported.

The state’s reference laboratory has performed 18,363 COVID-19 tests so far. Commercial labs have contributed 336,664, for a total of 355,027 tests. 

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 40 percent and the other five percent identified as unknown or other. On the other hand, the COVID-19 deaths are predominantly among men, 54 percent to 46 percent for women.

The state issued its weekly update on the number of infections among nursing home residents and staff Monday, as well as the number of deaths among residents. 

In Iberia Parish:

  • Belle Teche Nursing and Rehab Center had 36 infections and four among its 101 residents, with 18 infections among its staff. 

  • Consolata Nursing Home reported no infections among its 64 residents and one infection among the staff.

  • Maison Teche Nursing Center reported 44 infections and 10 deaths among its 60  residents, with seven infections among the staff.

  • New Iberia Manor North Iberia reported 33 positive cases and 4 deaths among its 57 residents and 11 infections among the staff.

  • New Iberia Manor South reported that all 52 of its residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and that 13 of them have died. There have also been 22 positive cases found among the center’s staff.

In St. Martin Parish:

  • St. Agnes Healthcare and Rehab Center reported 47 positive cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths among its 86 residents and 11 infections among the staff.

  • Landmark of Acadiana Nursing Home reported no infections among its 119 residents and no infections among its staff.

In St. Mary Parish:

  • Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Franklin reported 73 positive COVID-19 tests and 15 deaths among its 90 residents. Another 18 positive cases were found among the center’s employees.

  • Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Morgan City reported no infections among its 73 residents and no infections among the staff.

  • Patterson Healthcare Center reported one positive COVID-19 case among its 93 residents and one case among the center’s employees.

The state had reported the number of clusters of infections at specific nursing homes and long-term care facilities until April 1, when it stopped. Instead, LDH began reporting aggregate totals of infected facilities and residents. Those reports were also limited to twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of May 24, rose to 28,700. 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 rising, but not to the point it had been a month ago. 

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 dropped to 54.58 percent  Monday from 55.33 percent a week ago. 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 (57.83 percent), diabetes (35.33 percent), and cardiac disease (20.49 percent). Other factors included chronic kidney disease (19.22 percent), obesity (18.85 percent), congestive heart failure (12.99 percent), pulmonary issues (11.43 percent), neurological disorders (9.47 percent), cancer (7.13 percent), and asthma (3.98 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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