COVID GRAPHIC

Louisiana has more than 7,500 confirmed COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday, with almost 100 new deaths being added in the last two days.

Tuesday’s Louisiana Department of Health update showed the state adding 53 new deaths, added to the 45 that were recorded Monday. That brought the total reported deaths to 7,971. Of those, 7,536 are confirmed, with 435 considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing.

That rise represents an increase of 0.67 percent. The average age of fatal patients remained at 75, while the median age remained at 77.

The state also added 4,673 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. Those new cases were based on 56,902 new tests, pushing the state’s total of identified cases to 352,939.

Of those, 315,582 are confirmed, with 37,357 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 Tuesday’s tests was 8.2 percent. 

Local numbers

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases was at 5,426 Tuesday, an increase of 83. Of those,5,058 are confirmed, with 368 probable. The number of deaths remained at 125, with 117 confirmed and eight probable. There have been 64,566 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity rose by 43.62 percent, from 9.3 percent on Dec. 23 to 13.5 percent on Dec. 30. The incidence of tests remained about the same, from 349.59 per 10,000 population to 348.18.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose to 4,187, an increase of 86, with 48,400 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate rose from 15.1 percent on Dec. 23 to 17.1 percent on Dec. 30, a 13.25 percent increase, while the incidence rate per 10,000 population rose from 380.45 on Dec. 23 to 460.64 on Dec. 30. The number of deaths climbed by one, to 93, with 85 confirmed and eight probable.

In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate rose from 7.9 percent on Dec. 23 to 10.7 percent on Dec 30,an increase of 35.44 percent. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population increased, from 315.43 on Dec. 23 to 301.36 on Dec. 30. Total cases rose to 3,419 Tuesday after 39,804 tests. Of those cases, 2,938 are confirmed, with 481 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 104, with 97 confirmed and seven probable. 

Around the state

In Lafayette Parish, the Tuesday case count rose by 239, to 18,678, with the number of tests rising to 239,723. The seven-day test positivity average rose from 11 percent on Dec. 23 to 15.5  percent as of Dec. 30, an increase of 40.91 percent. The incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 348.05 to 375.65. The number of deaths rose by three, to 206, with 195 confirmed and 11 probable. 

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 35,823 on Tuesday, compared to an increase to 23,531 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 572,760, compared to 444,053 tests in Jefferson.

Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 691, with 644 confirmed and 45 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose to 709, with 682 confirmed and 27 probable.

Hospitalizations

The LDH reporting on hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections showed 2,035 hospitalizations on Monday, an increase of 53 from 1,982 on Sunday. The number of patients on ventilators rose by 12, to 244.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped by four, to 209 Monday. The number of patients on ventilators rose by seven, to 39.

Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Saturday was at 73.1 percent, with 1,226 of the region’s beds occupied and 452 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,678.

Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana was dipped below 90 percent Monday, at 89.5 percent, with 145 of 162 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 73,509 Tuesday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 28. 

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 56,833, with 105 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 51,399 cases and 241 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 50,894 cases, including 659 fatalities reported. 

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 40,802 cases reported and 1,465 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 38,154. The number of deaths in that group rose to 5,466 — 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 41,056 cases total — 7,624 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.

Seven-day average

The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of Dec. 30 was 260.1 tests per 10,000 residents, down from 323.2 on Dec. 23. The positivity rate among those tests rose as of Dec. 30 to 13.7 percent, up from 10.1 percent on Dec. 23. 

In Region 4, the Dec. 30 testing rate was at 385.8 tests per 10,000 residents. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was near the state average at 13.6 percent, up from 10.6 percent on Dec. 23.

According to Tuesday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 4,731,297 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, 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of Jan. 4, rose to 280,373. 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 remained at 41.27 percent as of Dec. 30, while White victims now make up 57.46 percent of all fatal cases. 

The Native American/Alaskan Native total was at 0.1 percent. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander data remained at 0.08 percent. Other races identified include Asian at 0.68 percent, Unknown at 0.01 percent and Other at 0.37 percent.

That data is only reported once every two weeks as of the beginning of the year, with the next update due on Jan. 13.

The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the latest report were hypertension (63.88 percent), diabetes (37.25 percent), and neurological disorders (27.34 percent).

Other factors included cardiac disease (26.42 percent), chronic kidney disease (22.05 percent), obesity (20.69 percent), congestive heart failure (16.73 percent), pulmonary issues (14.54 percent), cancer (8.71 percent), and asthma (4.07 percent). Only 4.2 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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