COVID-19

The Louisiana Department of Health update on COVID-19’s spread through assisted living facilities in the state shows that the disease is continuing to ravage the residents of nursing homes and other long-term care centers.

In its assisted living facility data update Monday, COVID-19 cases were reported among residents of 176 of the state’s 279 nursing homes and 87 of the state’s other assisted living facilities, for a total of 263 of the 436 licensed facilities in the state — 60 percent of the state’s licensed homes.

By resident, 3,133 nursing home residents and 417 other residents have been reported as having COVID-19, for a total of 3,141 3,550. That is a 13 percent increase over the previous total of 3,141 residents at Wednesday’s update.

That number includes 738 deaths, 688 in nursing homes and 50 in other facilities, and accounts for nearly a third of the state’s overall deaths. It is a 16 percent increase from the 637 deaths reported Wednesday.

The reporting lacks details regarding the location of the affected facilities, especially those where clusters of cases are identified. 

As far as staff is concerned, LDH does not track the occupations of those who are deemed positive for COVID-19, so there is no information on how many healthcare workers at the state’s nursing homes may be infected.

LDH updates the number of residents who are confirmed to have COVID-19 and the number of deaths among these residents on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Statewide, data showed 333 new cases of COVID-19 in the Monday update, bringing the state’s total identified cases to 29,673.

The state tally of COVID-19 deaths increased by 22 Monday, going from 1,969 on Sunday to 1,991 in the current update. As of Monday’s update, 73 of those deaths were still considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing.  That number is updated once a week. 

In Iberia Parish, the total number of cases rose by three, from 267 to 270 based on 2,392 tests. The number of deaths remained at 23.

In St. Martin Parish, the number of known cases remained at 244 with 1,936 tests performed. The number of deaths also held steady at 18.

St. Mary Parish saw an increase of four cases, from 205 to 209, after 1,220 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths in the parish remained at 23.

In Lafayette Parish, the case count rose by 2 to 468. The fatality count remained at 20. There have been 9,308 tests performed in the parish.

Orleans Parish cases rose by 19 to 6,557, with 25,297 tests performed there. The total number of cases in neighboring Jefferson Parish rose by 38 to reach 6,426 based on 25,567 tests. Deaths in Orleans Parish, however, continue to outstrip those in suburban Jefferson. Orleans Parish deaths rose by six, to 447 overnight. Jefferson also added five new fatalities, bringing the total to 377.

The current number of Louisiana COVID-19 cases identified in the 50-59 age range, the largest group of confirmed cases, rose to 5,679 — including 176 fatalities. 

The 70 and above group case count rose to 5,425 cases. The number of deaths in that group rose by 12 to 1,336 — still the largest number of fatalities for any age group by far, more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined.

In the 40 to 49 age group, the number of cases has risen to 5,085 with 72 deaths reported. In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 4,931 cases reported and 361 deaths.  

There were 4,719 identified cases in the 30-39 age group, and 37 deaths. The 18 to 29 age group had 3,434 cases and eight reported deaths. The under 18 group had 400 cases total, with one death reported.

The state reference lab has processed 8,540 COVID-19 tests so far. There have been 172,391 tests processed through commercial labs.

The number of patients statewide on ventilators rose by seven to 220 Monday, up from 213. The overall number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped by 28, to 1,502.

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 40 percent and the other four percent identified as unknown or other.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of May 2, rose to 20,316. 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.

The breakdown of COVID-19 fatalities by ethnicity and race showed some change lat week, with the percentage of those deaths in the black community rising, but not to the point it had been a month ago. 

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 high 50-percent range. It dropped to 59 percent, then 56 percent, then 58.28 percent. In this week’s update, the number notched slightly lower, to 57.4 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 (52.67 percent), diabetes (32.61 percent), and chronic kidney disease and cardiac disease tied at (18.44 percent). Other factors included obesity (17.42 percent), congestive heart failure (10.72 percent), pulmonary issues (10.56 percent), cancer (7.26 percent), neurological disorders (6.96 percent), and asthma (3.71 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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