COVID-19

The state Department of Health update Friday showed the state adding more than 2,600 identified infections to its COVID-19 total, a new single-day high, but even though hospitalizations due to the disease dropped by 25 beds statewide, Region 4 saw an increase of 15 beds, leaving only 28 ICU beds still available.

The number of hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers the Acadiana region, went from 204 Thursday to 219 on Friday, with the number of patients on ventilators rising by eight, to 30. In April, 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 rose Friday to more than 84 percent, with 150 of the 128 beds available in Region 4 occupied. InThursday’s report, the region was at 76.8 percent of ICU capacity — 136 of 177 beds — which was up from 75 percent Wednesday. 

Friday’s report shows that 1,210 of the 1,705 available hospital beds in the region — 71 percent — are occupied. That also shows a decrease of 12 available beds from Thursday’s total of 1,717.

Statewide, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to fluctuate from day to day, dropping by 25, to1,017, on Friday. After rising by 61 Tuesday — and dropping the same amount Wednesday — the total went up 78 in Thursday’s report, to 1,042, with 109 of those patients remaining on ventilators. 

By comparison, the hospitalizations statewide peaked at 1,991 on April 12. 

Overall, LDH reported 74,636 cases of COVID-19 Friday, an increase of 2,642, or 3.67 percent, from Tuesday’s running total of 71,994.

Over the last seven days, the state’s number of identified infections grew 17.93 percent, from 63,289 last Friday.

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 25, going from 3,247 in Thursday’s report to 3,272 on Friday. That rise represents an increase of 0.77 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 24, to 1,181. The number of deaths rose by one, to 49, with 11,372 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 25 to July 1 the parish had 348.18 cases reported per 100,000 population.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 24, to 963, with 12,082 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 25 to July 1, the parish had 261.81 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths remained at 27.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose from 664 to 704, after 7,298 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 39. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 25 to July 1 the parish had 251.14 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 3,293 on Thursday to 3,493 Friday, an increase of 200 cases. The number of deaths rose by one, to 51. There have been 50,427 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from June 25 to July 1, the parish had 303.15 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was at 10,812 on Thursday, an increase of 268, compared to an increase of 132, to 8,476 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 96,541 tests in Jefferson compared to 85,300 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 51 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths rose by two, to 541. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose by one, to 490. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, Jefferson Parish had 143.07 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 74.42 per 100,000.

The 18 to 29 age group had 16,188 cases Friday. 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 12,238, with 59 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 11,423 cases and 114 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 11,192 cases, including 287 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 9,742. The number of deaths in that group rose by 17, to 2,216 — 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 8,875 cases reported and 582 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 4,819 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Labs in Louisiana have processed more than 900,000 COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 41,859 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 863,389 for a total of 905,248 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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