COVID-19

The Louisiana Department of Health added more than 1,300 newly identified infections to its total of cases in its report Tuesday, surpassing almost all of the highest daily totals from March.

The spike comes a day after Gov. John Bel Edwards postponed the state’s move to loosen restrictions and move into Phase Three of the reopening plan. That change is now set for July 20 at the earliest.

Tuesday’s batch of newly identified infections is the largest single-day addition since March 26, when 1,359 cases were reported. That day was the single highest reporting day of the pandemic so far. Tuesday is now the second-highest reporting day.

Overall, LDH reported 51,595 identified cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, an increase of 1,356, or 2.7 percent, from Monday’s total of 50,239. 

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 17, going from 3,004 in Monday’s report to 3,021 on Tuesday. That rise represents an increase of 0.57 percent. As of Monday, 113 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. 

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 rose by 16, to 646, with 83 of those patients on ventilators, an increase of six. In District 4, which covers Acadiana, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 10, to 80, with the number of patients on ventilators rising by one, to eight.

Although there is not yet a shortage of hospital rooms or ventilators in Region 4, patients currently occupy almost three-quarters — 134 of 180 — of the available intensive care hospital beds in the region.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 55, to 581, with 7,400 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 4 to June 10, the parish had 72.73 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths was adjusted downward by two, to 26. 

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 49, to 531. The number of deaths remained at 42, with 7,432 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 4 to June 10 the parish had 23.96 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose by 12, to 405, after 5,043 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by one, to 36. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 4 to June 10 the parish had 28.13 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose by 134 to 1,574 Tuesday. The number of deaths rose by three, to 36. There have been 33,981 tests reported in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 4 to June 10, the parish had 81.97 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was reported up 147, at 8,888 on Tuesday, compared to a rise of 35, to 7,536 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 73,666 tests in Jefferson compared to 65,324 in Orleans.

The more urban Orleans Parish has seen 50 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish reported deaths remained at 529 for the third day. Deaths in Jefferson rose by two, to 479. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 4 to June 10, Jefferson Parish had 56.68 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 28.13 per 100,000.

The 18 to 29 age group had 8,947 cases Tuesday, a jump of 491 from 8,456 cases on Monday and more than a third of the daily total. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 10. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 50-59 age range rose by 146, to 8,458, including 264 fatalities, followed closely by the 30-39 age group, with an increase of 199 cases to 8,369 and 55 deaths. In the 40 to 49 age group, the number of cases rose by 172 to 8,228 with 109 deaths reported. 

The 70 and above group case count rose by 69, to 7,983. The number of deaths in that group rose to 2,044 — 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 7,014 cases reported and 536 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 2,377 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Louisiana has performed more than 600,000 COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 31,526 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 604,413, for a total of 635,939 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, 53 percent to 47 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of June 21, rose to 39,792. 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 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 53.11 percent  Monday, with Caucasian victims making up 45.32 percent of all cases. Other races identified include Asian at 0.74 percent, other at 0.57 percent, Native American/Alaska Native at 0.10 percent and Native Hawaiin/Pacific Islander at 0.08 percent. 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 (60.09 percent), diabetes (36.83 percent), and cardiac disease (20.39 percent).

Other factors included chronic kidney disease (20.19 percent), obesity (19.42 percent), congestive heart failure (13.74 percent), neurological disorders (12.67 percent), pulmonary issues (11.93 percent), cancer (7.35 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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