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With a mask requirement and bar closures going into effect after midnight, the Louisiana Department of Health update Sunday showed the state adding more than 1,300 identified infections to its COVID-19 total. 

On Sunday LDH reported 78,122 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 1,319, or 1.72 percent, from Saturday’s running total of 76,803. Over the last week, the state’s number of identified infections grew 19.77 percent, from 65,226 last Sunday.

Hospitalizations due to the disease increased overnight by 5.16 percent statewide, climbing to 1,243 Sunday, an increase of 61. As of Sunday, 134 of those patients were on ventilators, up 13 from Saturday. 

For perspective, the hospitalizations statewide peaked at 1,991 on April 12. 

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers the Acadiana region, went from 226 on Saturday to 229 Sunday, with the number of patients on ventilators also rising by three, to 35. 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 dropped Sunday to 81.5 percent, with 145 of the 178 beds in Region 4 occupied and 33 ICU beds still available. The total number of ICU beds dropped by one, from 179 in Saturday’s report.

Sunday’s report also showed that 1,179 of the 1,702 available hospital beds in the region — 69.3 percent — are occupied. 

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 13, going from 3,295 in Saturday’s report to 3,308 on Saturday. That rise represents an increase of 0.39 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. 

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 44, to 1,272. The number of deaths remained at 51, with 11,801 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5 the parish had 810.53 cases reported per 100,000 population.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 22, to 1,021, with 12,416 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5, the parish had 622.89 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths remained at 27.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose from 741 to 762, after 7,606 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 39. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5 the parish had 498.25 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 3,707 on Saturday to 3,834 Sunday, an increase of 127 cases or 3.43 percent. The number of deaths rose by two, to 54. There have been 52,498 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5, the parish had 673.03 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was at 11,100 on Sunday, an increase of 105, compared to an increase of 67, to 8,665 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 99,336 tests in Jefferson compared to 88,666 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 47 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 540. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose by two, to 493. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 22 to July 5, Jefferson Parish had 339.82 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 171.61 per 100,000.

The 18 to 29 age group had 17,056 cases Sunday. 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 12,835, with 59 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 11,946 cases and 118 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 11,643 cases, including 290 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 10,037. The number of deaths in that group rose by nine, to 2,242 — 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 9,240 cases reported and 585 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 5,205 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Labs in Louisiana have processed almost a million COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 43,096 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 891,899 for a total of 934,995 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, 52 percent to 48 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of July 7, rose to 46,334. 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, but had not been as of Tuesday afternoon.

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 52.42 percent  Monday, with Caucasian victims making up 46.05 percent of all cases. Other races identified include Asian at 0.72 percent, other at 0.50 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, updated on Monday.

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 (62.09 percent), diabetes (37.82 percent), and cardiac disease (21.22 percent).

Other factors included chronic kidney disease (20.41 percent), obesity (19.86 percent), neurological disorders (14.52 percent), congestive heart failure (14.32 percent), pulmonary issues (12.54 percent), cancer (7.62 percent), and asthma (4.28 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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