Death toll rises to 185 in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Health has reported that the death toll for COVID-19 has risen by 34 to 185 since its Sunday update.

The latest data shows 4,025 cases of the coronavirus identified in the state. Of those, 1,158 are hospitalized, with 385 of those patients requiring a ventilator to breathe.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose to 18 from 11 on Sunday, while St. Martin Parish saw its cases rise to 20, with three COVID-19-attributed deaths.

In St. Mary Parish, the number of cases rose to 10. There have been no reported COVID-19 deaths there.

Lafayette Parish saw an increase to 82 identified cases, up from 50 on Sunday. The parish reported its first death related to COVID-19 Friday afternoon.

The rise in identified coronavirus infections comes as local parishes begin their own drive-through testing events. Although Lafayette Parish has been doing regular drive-through testing for more than a week, Iberia Medical Center only held its first one Wednesday, with a second planned for this upcoming Wednesday.

The state’s reference laboratory has performed 3,180 tests so far. Commercial laboratories have added another 30,853 tests.

The number of hospitalized patients has also grown. Currently there are 1,158 patients in hospital beds across the state, with 385 of them requiring ventilators to breathe. That is up from 1,127 patients, 380 on ventilators Saturday.

The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 rose as well. The state is reporting 185 deaths, a 23 percent increase.

Statewide, the number of new cases rose from 3,540 to 4,025, an increase of 14 percent. New Orleans is at 1,480 cases, with 86 deaths so far. The Jefferson Parish case count has risen to 838, with 37 deaths.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said during his Monday update briefing that if Louisiana’s number of cases continues to grow at this rate and the state is unable to flatten the curve, the New Orleans area could run out of ventilators by April 5 and hospital beds April 12.

The number of cases identified in the 50-59 age range, the largest group of confirmed cases, rose to 843 Monday, including 28 fatalities. In the 40 to 49 age group, the number of cases has risen to 777, with 13 deaths reported.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 730 cases reported and 32 deaths. The 70 and above group case count rose to 693 cases. The number of deaths in that group rose to 105 — the largest number of fatalities for any age group and more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined.

There are 584 identified cases in the 30-39 age group, and six deaths.

The 18 to 29 age group has 367 cases, up from 234, and no reported deaths. The under 18 group has 31 cases total, with one death reported.

Women continue to make up the largest part — 58 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state.

Men make up 42 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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