Incidence map

The latest Louisiana Department of Health update showed the state adding another 2,700 identified infections to its COVID-19 total as the last three gray spaces on the state’s two-week incidence map turned to red.

When Gov. John Bel Edwards put a mask requirement in place for the state, he said that parishes which had fewer than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous two week period could choose to opt out. As of today’s update, none of the state’s parishes meet that criteria. 

On Wednesday, LDH reported 99,354 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 2,771, or 2.87 percent, from Tuesday’s running total of 96,583.

Over the last week, the state’s number of identified infections grew 18.09 percent, from 84,131 last Wednesday.

Statewide, hospitalizations due to the disease rose 3.54 percent since Tuesday, climbing to 1,581, an increase of 54. As of Wednesday, 188 of those patients were on ventilators, up two from 186 on Tuesday.

For perspective, the hospitalizations statewide peaked at 1,991 on April 12, with ventilator usage peaking at 571 on April 4. Today’s hospitalization total is the highest since April 23.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, rose from 287 on Tuesday to 304 Wednesday, or 5.92 percent. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by three, or 6.82 percent, to 47.

Both of those numbers eclipse the high points from earlier in the coronavirus outbreak. Previously, 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 in Region 4 rose Wednesday to 84.6 percent, with 154 rooms occupied and 28 ICU beds still available. The total number of ICU beds rose by one, to 182.

Wednesday’s report also showed that 1,247 of the hospital beds in the region — 73.87 percent — are occupied, with 441 available. The total number of reported beds rose by one, to 1,688.

The number of deaths rose to 3,558 on Wednesday. That rise represents an increase of 60, or 1.72 percent, from Tuesday’s total of 3,498. The average age of fatal patients is 74, the median age 76. As of July 22, 112 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 Wednesday, but has not yet been updated today.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 98, to 1,813. The number of deaths were revised up by one, to 55, with 15,175 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15 the parish had the second-highest incidence rate in the state, with 795.03 cases reported per 100,000 population.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 46, to 1,333, with 14,515 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, the parish had 635.94 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths rose by one, to 32.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose by 52, to 1,189, after 9,591 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 39. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15 the parish had 873.95 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 5,125 on Tuesday to 5,339 Wednesday, an increase of 214 cases, or 2.48 percent. The number of deaths rose by six, to 67. There have been 67,073 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, the parish had 698.98 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose by 175 to 12,812 on Tuesday, compared to a rise of 72, to 9,451, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 114,031 tests in Jefferson compared to 103,851 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 39 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 546 Wednesday. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose by three, to 507. The LDH incidence map shows that from July 2 to July 15, Jefferson Parish had 455.71 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 273.14 per 100,000.

Statewide, the 18 to 29 age group total rose to 21,957 cases Wednesday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 13. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30-39 age group was at 16,338, with 64 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 15,000 cases and 127 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 14,587 cases, including 315 fatalities reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 11,929. The number of deaths in that group rose by 39, to 2,404 — 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. It is not clear if that number had been updated yet for the day.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 11,418 cases reported and 631 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 7,952 cases total and four reported deaths.

Labs in Louisiana have processed 1,152,901 COVID-19 tests so far. 

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 43 percent and the other one 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 21, rose to 61,456. 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.

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

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