COVID-19

The Louisiana Department of Health is continuing to update the public on COVID-19 cases in the state. 

The Louisiana Department of Health said Monday it had fixed the server issues that prevented the state from accurately portraying the number of COVID-19 tests reported over the last two days, and with that fix came a bump in the number of cases identified statewide.

The state’s Monday update reported 37,809 identified cases of COVID-19 in the state, a rise of 640 over Sunday’s figure of 37,169. That marks an increase 1.72 percent, but it comes after two days of severe underreporting due to the computer issues.

The server error is the latest in as many weeks to affect the LDH update of COVID-19 statistics. In addition to server errors, issues with adding reports from new labs have caused numbers to fluctuate, while reassignment of data between parishes has caused some anomalies to appear, such as large increases in identified cases in certain parishes or an apparent reduction in the number of deaths from day to day in others.

For the first time in several days, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 went up, rising by 34 to 847. The number of patients statewide on ventilators remained the same at 102.

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths increased by 18, going from 2,567 on Sunday to 2,585 in Monday’s report. That rise represents an increase of 0.7 percent. As of May 24, 105 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 total number of cases rose by four to 392 in Iberia Parish Monday. The number of deaths rose by one to 37, with 145 new tests being recorded to bring the total to 4,112 tests in the parish.

In St. Mary Parish, seven new identified cases were added, bringing that parish’s total to 302 after 2,880 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths in the parish remained at 29.

St. Martin Parish identified cases rose by one to 289 with 2,910 tests performed. The number of deaths remained static at 22.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count climbed by 15 to 674. The number of deaths remained at  23. There have been 14,704 tests reported in the parish.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose by 50 to 7,298 on Monday, compared to a rise of 52 new cases in Orleans Parish to bring that total to 7,005. Both parishes have had similar numbers of tests conducted — 42,696 in Jefferson compared to 42,296 in Orleans.

Even with similar case and test numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 65 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths rose for the first time in three days, by two to 502. Jefferson added four deaths, rising to 437 fatalities.

The number of Louisiana COVID-19 cases identified in the 50-59 age range rose to 6,996, including 231 fatalities. 

The 70 and above group case count rose to 6,625 cases, making it the age group with the largest number of identified cases. The number of deaths in that group rose to 1,729 — 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.

In the 40 to 49 age group, the number of cases has risen to 6,281 with 97 deaths reported. There were 6,022 identified cases in the 30-39 age group, and 45 deaths. In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 5,830 cases reported and 472 deaths.  

The 18 to 29 age group had 5,195 cases and nine reported deaths. The under 18 group had 860 cases total, with two deaths reported.

The state’s reference laboratory has performed 17,396 COVID-19 tests so far. Commercial labs have contributed 313,502, for a total of 330,898 tests. 

By gender, the state’s daily report shows women making up the largest part — 55 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state, with men comprising 40 percent and the other five percent identified as unknown or other. On the other hand, the COVID-19 deaths are predominantly among men, 54 percent to 46 percent for women.

The state issued its weekly update on the number of infections among nursing home residents and staff Monday, as well as the number of deaths among residents. 

In Iberia Parish:

  • Belle Teche Nursing and Rehab Center had 36 infections and four among its 101 residents, with 18 infections among its staff. 

  • Consolata Nursing Home reported no infections among its 64 residents and one infection among the staff.

  • Maison Teche Nursing Center reported 44 infections and 10 deaths among its 60  residents, with seven infections among the staff.

  • New Iberia Manor North Iberia reported 33 positive cases and 4 deaths among its 57 residents and 11 infections among the staff.

  • New Iberia Manor South reported that all 52 of its residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and that 13 of them have died. There have also been 22 positive cases found among the center’s staff.

In St. Martin Parish:

  • St. Agnes Healthcare and Rehab Center reported 47 positive cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths among its 86 residents and 11 infections among the staff.

  • Landmark of Acadiana Nursing Home reported no infections among its 119 residents and no infections among its staff.

In St. Mary Parish:

  • Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Franklin reported 73 positive COVID-19 tests and 15 deaths among its 90 residents. Another 18 positive cases were found among the center’s employees.

  • Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Morgan City reported no infections among its 73 residents and no infections among the staff.

  • Patterson Healthcare Center reported one positive COVID-19 case among its 93 residents and one case among the center’s employees.

The state had reported the number of clusters of infections at specific nursing homes and long-term care facilities until April 1, when it stopped. Instead, LDH began reporting aggregate totals of infected facilities and residents. Those reports were also limited to twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of May 24, rose to 28,700. 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 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 mid-to-high 50-percent range. It dropped to 54.58 percent  Monday from 55.33 percent a week ago. 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 (57.83 percent), diabetes (35.33 percent), and cardiac disease (20.49 percent). Other factors included chronic kidney disease (19.22 percent), obesity (18.85 percent), congestive heart failure (12.99 percent), pulmonary issues (11.43 percent), neurological disorders (9.47 percent), cancer (7.13 percent), and asthma (3.98 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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