The Louisiana Department of Health reported more than 1,000 new identified COVID-19 infections Tuesday, inching the state closer to 60,000 identified cases, with Lafayette adding 100 cases, more than either Orleans or Jefferson parishes.

On Wednesday, LDH will update its data on the incidence of infection per 100,000 population by parish as well as the percentage of positive tests and testing volume by public health district. 

Overall, LDH reported 58,095 identified cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, an increase of 1,014, or 1.78 percent, from Monday’s total of 57,081. 

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 22, going from 3,091 in Monday’s report to 3,113 on Tuesday. That rise represents an increase of 0.71 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 44, to 781, with 83 of those patients remaining on ventilators, an increase of four. In District 4, which covers Acadiana, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 14, to 124, with the number of patients on ventilators rising by six, to 16. 

Although there is not yet a shortage of hospital rooms or ventilators in Region 4, the patients currently occupying intensive care rooms remained just under three-quarters capacity — 128 of 178 beds. Overall, 1,200 of the 1,723 available hospital beds in the region — just under 70 percent — are occupied.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 27, to 712, with 9,146 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 11 to June 17, the parish had 358.07 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths remained at 26. 

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 24, to 697. The number of deaths remained at 44, with 8,725 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 11 to June 17 the parish had 69.07 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose by 12, to 469, after 5,774 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 38. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 11 to June 17 the parish had 50.23 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 2,058 on Monday to 2,158 Tuesday, an increase of 100 cases. The number of deaths increased by one, to 42. There have been 39,533 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from June 11 to June 17, the parish had 123.98 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was at 9,489 on Monday, an increase of 86, compared to an increase of 55, to 7,851 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 81,783 tests in Jefferson compared to 72,879 in Orleans.

The more urban Orleans Parish has seen 50 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish reported 534 deaths as of Tuesday, an increase of two. In Jefferson Parish, one new death was reported, bringing the total fatalities there to 484. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 11 to June 17, Jefferson Parish had 102.75 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 41.94 per 100,000.

The 18 to 29 age group had 11,057 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 9,387, with 56 deaths, followed closely by the 50-59 age range with 9,164 cases, including 270 fatalities, and the 40 to 49 age group, with 9,079 cases and 111 deaths reported. 

The 70 and above group case count was at 8,555. The number of deaths in that group rose by 18, to 2,113 — 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 7,555 cases reported and 549 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 3,074 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Louisiana has performed more than 700,000 COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 35,518 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 692,993, for a total of 728,511 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 28, rose to 42,225. 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 52.79 percent  Monday, with Caucasian victims making up 45.69 percent of all cases. Other races identified include Asian at 0.71 percent, other at 0.52 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.

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 (59.98 percent), diabetes (36.65 percent), and chronic kidney disease (20.41 percent).

Other factors included cardiac disease (20.32 percent), obesity (19.22 percent), congestive heart failure (13.71 percent), neurological disorders (13.32 percent), pulmonary issues (12.09 percent), cancer (7.36 percent), and asthma (4.24 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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