Teal COVID graphic

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the state added 2,046 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday based on 33,650 new tests, pushing the state’s total of identified cases to 406,235. 

Of those, 353,507 are confirmed, with 52,728 listed as possible cases.

According to an LDH spokesman, people initially identified as having a positive antigen test who are later identified as having a positive confirmatory test will be removed from the possible case count and added to the cumulative case count.

The rough positivity rate for Wednesday’s new tests was 6.1 percent. 

Louisiana had 9,006 total COVID-19 deaths as of Wednesday, with 53 new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 8,421 are confirmed with 585 considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing.

The average age of fatal patients remained at 75, while the median age was at 76.

Local numbers

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases was at 6,114 Wednesday, an increase of 27. Of those, 5,639 are confirmed, with 475 probable. The number of deaths remained at 138, with 126 confirmed and 12 probable. There have been 74,345 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity dropped 12.8 percent, from 9.4 percent on Jan. 20 to 8.2 percent on Jan. 27. The incidence of tests dropped by 14.6 percent, from 346.77 per 10,000 population on Jan. 20 to 296 on Jan. 27.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose to 4,663, an increase of one, with 53,817 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate dropped from 12.9 percent on Jan. 20  to 10 percent on Jan. 27, a 22.5 percent decrease, while the incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped from 318.9 on Jan. 20 to 246.2 on Jan. 20. The number of deaths rose by one, to 106, with 98 confirmed and eight probable.

In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 5.7 percent as of January 27, down from 8 percent on Jan. 20, a 28.8 percent decrease. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped slightly, from 309.4 on Jan. 20 to 267.2 on Jan. 27. Total cases Wednesday were at 3,890, after 45,632 tests. Of those cases, 3,204 are confirmed, with 686 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 115, with 104 confirmed and 11 probable. 

Around the state

In Lafayette Parish, the Wednesday case count rose by 81, to 20,784, with the number of tests rising to 265,594. The seven-day test positivity average dropped from 10.1 percent on Jan. 20 to 8.2  percent as of Jan. 27, a decrease of 18.8 percent. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 292.4 to 251.3. The number of deaths rose by one, to 239, with 223 confirmed and 16 probable. 

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 41,691 on Wednesday, an increase of 179, compared to an increase of 123, to 26,883 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 668,250, compared to 509,034 tests in Jefferson.

Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths rose to 732, an increase of six, with 686 confirmed and 46 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths remained at 798, with 769 confirmed and 29 probable.

Hospitalizations

The LDH reporting on hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections showed 1,386 hospitalizations on Tuesday, a decrease of 54 from 1,440 on Monday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by nine, to 180.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped by six, to 131 Tuesday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by two, to 23.

Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Tuesday was at 77.2 percent, with 1,294 of the region’s beds occupied and 380 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,674.

Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana remained just above 90 percent Tuesday, at 90.6 percent, with 144 of 159 beds occupied.

The overall occupancy percentages are based on all cases, not just COVID-19 cases, and includes not only the physical bed and space but also the staff required to issue care. The burden of additional patient load affects the ability of hospitals to serve all patients, especially in critical care situations.

By age group

Broken down by age group, the number of cases statewide in the 18 to 29 demographic was at 83,216 Wednesday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 30. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 65,160, with 116 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 58,695 cases and 262 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 58,518 cases, including 746 fatalities reported. 

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 47,115 cases reported and 1,653 deaths. This age group has the second-highest number of deaths, behind only the 70 and above demographic group.

The 70 and above group case count was at 43,071. The number of deaths in that group rose to 6,192 — still the largest number of fatalities for any age group by far, more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined and more than two-thirds of the total COVID-19 attributed deaths in the state.

The under 18 group had 49,890 cases total — 9,140 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.

Seven-day average

The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of Jan. 27 was 347.1 tests per 10,000 residents, down from 354.3 on Jan. 20. The positivity rate among those tests dropped as of Jan. 27 to 8.3 percent, down from 8.7 percent on Jan. 20. 

In Region 4, the Jan. 20 testing rate was at 323.8 tests per 10,000 residents. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was beow the state average at 7.6 percent, down from 9.1 percent on Jan. 20.

According to Wednesday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 5,412,079 COVID-19 tests so far.

Gender, underlying conditions

By gender, the state’s weekly report shows women making up the largest part — 56 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state, with men comprising 44 percent. On the other hand, the COVID-19 deaths are predominantly among men, 52.9 percent to 47.1 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of Feb. 1, rose to 363,457. 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.

Initially, LDH reported that 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state were in the Black community. That number dropped to 39.63 percent as of Jan. 20, while White victims now make up 59 percent of all fatal cases. 

The Native American/Alaskan Native total was at 0.12 percent. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander data remained at 0.08 percent. Other races identified include Asian at 0.69 percent, Unknown at 0.06 percent and Other at 0.38 percent.

That data is only reported once every two weeks as of the beginning of the year, with the next update due on Feb. 10.

The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the latest report were hypertension (65.5 percent), diabetes (38.59 percent), and neurological disorders (27.68 percent).

Other factors included cardiac disease (27.63 percent), chronic kidney disease (22.18 percent), obesity (21.57 percent), congestive heart failure (16.86 percent), pulmonary issues (14.22 percent), cancer (9.22 percent), and asthma (4.12 percent). Only 4.3 percent of all patients had no underlying conditions.

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

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