The Louisiana Department of Health did not report any new COVID-19 data on Tuesday in observance of the Mardi Gras holiday, and Monday’s report was very small, perhaps reflecting the effect of record cold temperatures on the region.
The state added 507 new COVID-19 cases Monday based on 8,219 new tests, pushing the state’s total of identified cases to 420,394.
Of the overall identified cases, 363,469 are confirmed, with 56,925 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 the new cases reported Monday was 6.2 percent.
Louisiana had 9,325 total COVID-19 deaths as of Monday, with 33 new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 8,691 are confirmed with 634 considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing.
The average age of fatal patients remained at 75, while the median age was at 76.
In Iberia Parish, the number of cases climbed to 6,352 Monday, an increase of 34. Of those, 5,845 are confirmed, with 507 probable. The number of deaths remained at 142, with 130 confirmed and 12 probable. There have been 78,782 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity dropped 19.5 percent, from 8.2 percent on Jan. 27 to 6.6 percent on Feb. 3. The incidence of tests dropped by 21.1 percent, from 294.6 per 10,000 population on Jan. 27 to 232.6 on Jan. 27.
St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose to 4,767, unchanged from Sunday, with 56,193 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate dropped from 9.9 percent on Jan. 27 to 7.3 percent on Feb. 3, a 26.3 percent decrease, while the testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped from 248 on Jan. 27 to 179 on Feb. 3. The number of deaths rose by one, to 109, with 101 confirmed and eight probable.
In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 4.1 percent as of Feb. 3, down from 5.6 percent on Jan. 27, a 26.8 percent decrease. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped as well, from 267.2 on Jan. 27 to 168.8 on Feb. 3. Total cases Monday rose to 4,003, after 48,379 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,266 are confirmed, with 737 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by one to 118, with 106 confirmed and 12 probable.
Around the state
In Lafayette Parish, the Monday case count rose by 42, to 21,295, with the number of tests rising to 277,580. The seven-day test positivity average dropped from 8.1 percent on Jan. 27 to 6.2 percent as of Feb. 3, a decrease of 23.5 percent. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 260.3 to 164.8. The number of deaths rose by two, to 252, with 235 confirmed and 17 probable.
The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 42,947 on Monday compared to 27,744 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 713,110, compared to 534,625 tests in Jefferson.
Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 748, with 701 confirmed and 47 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose to 823, with 794 confirmed and 29 probable.
The LDH reporting on hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections dropped to 849 on Sunday, a decrease of 26 from 875 on Saturday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by five, to 137.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, remained unchanged at 74 Sunday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by two, to 11.
Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Wednesday was at 66.1 percent, with 1,109 of the region’s beds occupied and 568 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,677.
Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana dropped below 80 percent Sunday, at 77.4 percent, with 127 of 164 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 85,894 Monday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 31.
The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 67,372, with 122 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 61,028 cases and 268 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 60,482 cases, including 774 fatalities reported.
In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 48,712 cases reported and 1,730 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 44,138. The number of deaths in that group rose to 6,393 — 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 52,465 cases total — 9,586 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.
The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of Feb. 3 was 313.8 tests per 10,000 residents, down from 361.9 on Jan. 27.
The positivity rate among those tests dropped as of Feb. 3 to 6.4 percent, down from 8.1 percent on Jan. 27.
In Region 4, the Feb. 3 testing rate was at 300.1 tests per 10,000 residents. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests matched the state average at 6.1 percent, down from 7.6 percent on Jan. 27.
According to Friday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 5,705,234 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. 8, rose to 380,673. 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 supposed to be reported once every two weeks as of the beginning of the year. The scheduled update on Feb. 10 did not occur.
The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the last 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.