Louisiana added another 1,700 COVID-19 cases Wednesday as hospitalizations and hospital occupancy continued to decline, according to the latest Louisiana Department of Health update.

On Wednesday, LDH reported 112,773 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 1,121, or 1.56 percent, from Tuesday’s running total of 111,038. Over the last week, the state’s number of identified infections grew 13.5 percent, from 99,354 last Wednesday.

Statewide, hospitalizations due to the disease dropped by 39, or 2.4 percent, since Tuesday. There were 1,544 hospitalizations reported Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, 221 of those patients were on ventilators, an increase of seven, or 5.8 percent, from 208 on Tuesday.

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 from 285 on Tuesday to 268 Wednesday, a decrease of 5.9 percent. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by four, from 52 to 48, or 7.69 percent, since Tuesday.

Although lower, both of those numbers eclipse the high points from earlier in the coronavirus outbreak. 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 in Region 4 dropped slightly Wednesday to 83.06 percent, with 152 rooms occupied and 31 ICU beds still available. The total number of ICU beds dropped by seven, to 183.

Wednesday’s report also showed that 1,224 of the hospital beds in the region — 71.1 percent — are occupied, with 497 available. The total number of reported beds rose by six, to 1,721.

Statewide, the number of deaths rose to 3,769 on Wednesday. That rise represents an increase of 69, or 1.8 percent, from Tuesday’s total of 3,700. The average age of fatal patients is 74, the median age 76. As of July 29, 114 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 31, to 2,111. The number of deaths rose by two, to 60, with 17,120 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15 the parish had the second-highest incidence rate in the state, with 795.03 cases reported per 100,000 population.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases were up by 11, to 1,453, with 15,676 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, the parish had 635.94 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths rose by three, to 40.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose by 20, to 1,342, after 10,583 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by five, to 47. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15 the parish had 873.95 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 5,944 on Tuesday to 6,023 Wednesday, an increase of 79 cases, or 0.95 percent. The number of deaths rose by one, to 80. There have been 74,386 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, the parish had 698.98 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose by 92 to 13,872 on Wednesday, compared to a rise of 49, to 10,120, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 126,251 tests in Jefferson compared to 117.955 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 49 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths rose by six, to 559. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths remained at 510 for a fourth day. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, Jefferson Parish had 455.71 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 273.14 per 100,000.

Statewide, the 18 to 29 age group total rose to 24,841 cases Monday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 15. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 18,586, with 69 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 16,988 cases and 132 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 16,488 cases, including 330 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 13,412. The number of deaths in that group rose by 19, to 2,547 — 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 12,919 cases reported and 672 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 9,344 cases total and four reported deaths.

Labs in Louisiana have processed 1,295,131 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 July 27, rose to 74,246. 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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