Christmasy COVID

As the state’s mandate remains in effect, the data as reported is showing that COVID-19 related hospitalizations statewide continue to decline, ventilator use has dropped, and the individual parish two-week incidence rates are coming down, according to Sunday's update from the Louisiana Department of Health.

On Sunday, LDH reported 131,399 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 2,653, or 1.17 percent, from Friday’s running total of 128,746. Over the last week, the state’s number of identified infections grew 9.73 percent, from 119,747 last Sunday.

Although the state does not update its COVID-19 statistics on Saturday, hospitalizations due to the disease dropped by 37, to 1,369, before rising to Sunday’s total of 1,383. Of those, 210 patients were on ventilators, an increase of three, or 3.72 percent, from 207 on Friday after dipping to 204 on Saturday.

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

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped by 10 Saturday, from 241 to 231, then by one more on Sunday, to 230. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by two Saturday, to 37, then to 36 on Sunday. This is the first time that ventilator use has dropped below its April 12 peak of 37 since July 12, the day before Gov. John Bel Edwards put a mask mandate in place for the state.

Previously, Region 4’s COVID-19 related hospitalizations had peaked on April 10, at 125.

The intensive care bed occupancy rate in Region 4 dropped a half percent Sunday to 86.3 percent, with 152 rooms occupied and 24 ICU beds still available. The total number of ICU beds dropped by six, to 176. 

Sunday’s report also showed that 1,214 of the hospital beds in Region 4 — 71.4 percent — are occupied with 485 available, a decrease from 73.97 percent Friday. The total number of reported beds dropped by 11, to 1,699.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Louisiana rose to 4,145 on Sunday. That rise represents an increase of 56, or 1.37 percent, from Friday’s total of 4,089. The average age of fatal patients is 74, the median age 77. As of August 5, 118 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 Wednesday.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 82 to 2,532. The number of deaths rose by two, to 72, with 21,410 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map update showed that from July 16 to July 29 the parish had the second-highest incidence rate in the state, with 741.46 cases reported per 100,000 population, down from 795 per 100,000 in the mid-July update.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases were up by 95, to 1,711, with 18,320 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 16 to July 29, the parish had 412.15 cases reported per 100,000 population, a drop from 635 per 100,000 in the last update. The number of deaths rose by two, to 45.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose by 54, to 1,597, after 12,467 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by two, to 54. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 16 to July 29 the parish had 606.74 cases reported per 100,000 population, down from 874.

In Lafayette Parish, the case count rose from 7,468 on Friday to 7,628 Sunday, an increase of 160 cases, or 2.14 percent. The number of deaths rose by two, to 93. The number of tests in the parish rose to 104,788 on Sunday. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 16 to July 29, the parish had 577.47 cases reported per 100,000 population, down from 699 on July 15.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose by 176 to 15,279 on Sunday, compared to a rise of 98, to 10,735, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 147,711 tests in Jefferson compared to 135,325 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 33 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 562. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose by six, to 529. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 16 to July 29, Jefferson Parish had 415.16 cases reported per 100,000 population, a drop of 40. In Orleans, that number was 226.59 per 100,000, down from 273.

When compared by age group, the cases in the 18 to 29 demographic rose to 28,954 Friday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 19. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 21,745 with 74 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 19,809 cases and 146 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 19,177 cases, including 354 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 15,281. The number of deaths in that group rose by 35, to 2,808 — 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 14,941 cases reported and 740 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 11,304 cases total and four reported deaths.

Labs in Louisiana have processed 1,540,571 COVID-19 tests so far. 

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 43 percent and the other one 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 August 3, rose to 89,083. 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.

 

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

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