The number of coronavirus cases in Louisiana rose by 44 cases overnight,  a more than 20 percent increase in known infections, according to the latest data from the state Department of Health.

The good news from the morning's 9:30 update is that there were no new deaths overnight and no cases have been found outside the 13 parishes reported Tuesday.

The number of coronavirus cases identified in Louisiana rose from 196 to 240 between 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the latest figures. The number of tests administered at the state reference lab also increased, from 531 Tuesday evening to 597 Wednesday morning.

As more drive-through testing sites come online, the number of known infections in the state will most likely rise quickly.

Louisiana has so far lost four residents as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The four fatalities include two people, aged 80 and 84, who lived at the Lambeth House, a New Orleans retirement home, and two patients at Touro Infirmary, both in their 50s, from New Orleans who had underlying conditions along with COVID-19.

Only 12 of the known cases in the state are patients under 30 years old, and 32 are between the ages of 30 and 39. The largest group, 56 patients, fall in the 40-49 year old range. From age 50-59, there are 50 patients.

Those most susceptible to the corona virus are those over 60. In the 60-69 age range, their are currently 44 patients, with 46 patients over 70.

The state reference laboratory performed 66 new tests for the coronavirus overnight. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has verified that the state’s reference laboratory’s work can be trusted, so state tests are now taken as positive results rather than presumptive positive.

Parish presidents in St. Martin and Iberia parishes issued local emergency declarations Tuesday, making it easier for those administrations to receive federal aid and giving the parish presidents greater ability to create uniform rules and regulations parishwide during the emergency.

The COVID-19 cases in Louisiana are largely situated in the southeast portion of the state. Orleans Parish has the bulk of the cases, with 176. Jefferson Parish has 37, St. Tammany six, Caddo five and three cases each in Lafourche, St. Charles and Terrebonne parishes. St. Bernard is reporting two cases, and East Baton Rouge, Washington, Ascension, St. John the Baptist and Bossier parishes are still each reporting one case each.

The breakdown of cases by parish of the patient’s residence is as follows:

• Ascension - 1 case

• Bossier - 1 case

• Caddo - 5 cases

• East Baton Rouge - 1 case

• Jefferson - 37 cases

• Lafourche - 3 case

• Orleans - 176 cases

• St. Bernard - 2 case

• St. Charles - 3 cases

• St. John the Baptist - 1 case

• St. Tammany - 6 cases

• Terrebonne - 3 cases

• Washington - 1 case

The next update from the Louisiana Department of Health is expected at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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

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