Christmasy COVID

The Louisiana Department of Health update Monday showed the state adding another 1,000-plus identified infections to its COVID-19 total.

Overall, LDH reported 66,327 cases of COVID-19 Monday, an increase of 1,101, or 1.69 percent. That comes after Sunday’s climb of 1,937 cases, to 65,226. Sunday’s increase covered two days, as LDH was closed Saturday for the July 4 holiday.

Over the last seven days, the state’s number of identified infections grew 16.9 percent, up 9,246 from 57,081 last Monday. 

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by eight, going from 3,180 in Sunday’s report to 3,188 on Monday. That rise represents an increase of 0.73 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. 

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 rose by 38, to 964, with 109 of those patients remaining on ventilators, an increase of four. In District 4, which covers Acadiana, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 15, to 187, with the number of patients on ventilators remaining at 22. 

Although there is not yet a shortage of hospital rooms or ventilators in Region 4, the patients currently occupying intensive care rooms remained at 76.6 percent of capacity — 134 of 175 beds. Overall, 1,171 of the 1,710 available hospital beds in the region — 68.5 percent — are occupied.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 22, to 846, with 10,730 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, the parish had 259.23 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths remained at 27. 

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 76, to 978. The number of deaths rose by one, to 45, with 10,183 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24 the parish had 246.68 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose to 600, after 6,542 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 38. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24 the parish had 124.56 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 2,800 on Sunday to 2,645 Friday, an increase of 117 cases. The number of deaths remained at 47. There have been 45,043 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, the parish had 207.18 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was at 10,097 on Monday, compared to 8,143 cases in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 89,553 tests in Jefferson compared to 79,810 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 534 for a fifth day on Monday. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths was at 487. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, Jefferson Parish had 134.55 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 63.94 per 100,000.

The 18 to 29 age group had 13,852 cases Monday. 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 10,798, with 56 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 10,226 cases and 110 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 10,134 cases, including 275 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 9,034. The number of deaths in that group rose by 19, to 2,167 — 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 8,191 cases reported and 566 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 3,938 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Labs in Louisiana ha processed more than 800,000 COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 39,152 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 774,493 for a total of 813,645 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 30, rose to 43,026. 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 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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