Orange Purple Covid

The state Department of Health update Thursday showed the state adding more than 1,800 identified infections to its COVID-19 total for the third day in a row, with hospitalizations due to the disease rising by the 78 beds, according to Thursday’s data.

Overall, LDH reported 71,994 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, an increase of 1,843, or 2.63 percent, from Wednesday’s running total of 70,151.

Over the last seven days, the state’s number of identified infections grew 16.95 percent, from 61,561 last Thursday. 

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 16, going from 3,231 in Wednesday’s report to 3,247 on Thursday. That rise represents an increase of 0.50 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 continues to fluctuate from day to day. 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. 

In District 4, which covers Acadiana, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 27, to 224, with the number of patients on ventilators rising by three, to 22. 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.

Although there is not yet a shortage of hospital rooms or ventilators in Region 4, the patients currently occupying intensive care rooms were at 76.8 percent of capacity — 136 of 177 beds, up from 75 percent Wednesday. Overall, 1,219 of the 1,717 available hospital beds in the region — 70.9 percent — are occupied.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 107, to 1,157. The number of deaths rose by one, to 48, with 11,214 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.

That 107 cases marks a new peak for Iberia Parish. On Monday, Iberia Parish President Larry Richard held a press conference after the parish showed its highest single-day gain to date, rising by 76. He asked residents to abide by sanitation, masking and social distancing protocols. He added that if the infection rate continued to rise he would consider reimposing some restrictions on activities, although he stopped short of saying he would put the parish back under Phase 1 guidelines.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 24, to 939, with 11,838 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 632 to 664, after 7,085 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 3,127 on Wednesday to 3,293 Thursday, an increase of 166 cases. The number of deaths remained at 50. There have been 48,750 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 10,544 on Thursday, an increase of 92, compared to an increase of 57, to 8,344 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 94,056 tests in Jefferson compared to 83,858 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 50 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths rose by three, to 539. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose by one, 489. 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 15,479 cases Wednesday. 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 11,782, with 59 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 11,049 cases and 113 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 10,857 cases, including 284 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 9,538. The number of deaths in that group rose by 10, to 2,199 — 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 8,640 cases reported and 578 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 4,493 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Labs in Louisiana have processed almost 900,000 COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 40,832 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 839,308 for a total of 880,140 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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