The latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health showed the state with 417 new cases Thursday after 15,134 reported tests. That puts the rough positivity rate at 2.8 percent.

The new cases pushed the state’s total of identified cases to 461,210. Of the overall identified cases, 391,312 are confirmed, with 69,898 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.

Louisiana had 10,425 total COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday, with seven new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 9,488 are confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with 937 considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing.

The average age of fatal patients remained at 75, while the median age was at 76 as of April 28.

Local numbers

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose to 7,034 Thursday, an increase of seven. Of those, 6,393 are confirmed, with 641 probable. The number of deaths remained at 153, with 138 confirmed and 15 probable. There have been 96,044 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity dropped 40.9 percent, from 9.3 percent on April 21 to 5.5 percent on April 28. The incidence of tests dropped 17.2 percent, from 122.6 per 10,000 population on April 21 to 101.5 on April 28.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases remained at 5,267, with 66,975 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate dropped from 7.4 percent on April 21 to 5.6 percent on April 28, a 24.3 percent decrease, while the testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped 17.8 percent, from 83.9 on April 21 to 69 on April 28. The number of deaths remained at 116, with 105 confirmed and 11 probable.

In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 1.8 percent as of April 28, down from 3 percent on April 21, a 40 percent decrease. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population rose from 48.2 on April 21 to 60.3 on April 28, a 25 percent increase. Total cases Thursday rose to 4,703 after 59,938 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,650 are confirmed, with 1,053 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose to 137, with 118 confirmed and 19 probable.

Around the state

In Lafayette Parish, the Thursday case count rose to 23,429, an increase of 24, with the number of tests rising to 336,860. The seven-day test positivity average rose to 4.9 percent as of April 28, up 8.9 percent from 4.5 percent on April 14. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 80.3 on April 21 to 79.1 on April 28, a 1.5 percent decrease. The number of deaths remained at 277, with 253 confirmed and 24 probable.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 46,078 on Thursday, compared to an increase to 30,002 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 946,565, compared to 659,706 tests in Jefferson.

Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 792, with 738 confirmed and 54 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose to 894, with 849 confirmed and 45 probable.

Hospitalizations

The LDH report showed hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections rose to 340 on Wednesday, up two from 338 on Tuesday. The number of patients on ventilators was up by four, to 37.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped by one, to 63 Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators rose by one, to five.

Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Monday was at 74.2 percent, with 1,265 of the region’s beds occupied and 440 available. The total number of reported beds remained at 1,705.

Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana was at 82.7 percent Wednesday, with 124 of 150 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 94,696 Thursday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 36.

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 74,478, with 133 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 67,111 cases and 311 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 66,018 cases, including 898 fatalities reported.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 52,316 cases reported and 1,985 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 46,232. The number of deaths in that group rose to 7,055 — 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 60,051 cases total — 11,045 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.

Seven-day average

The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of April 28 was 179.6 tests per 10,000 residents, down from 187.7 on April 21. The positivity rate among those tests dropped a tenth of a point as of April 28 to 2.7 percent, down from 2.8 percent on April 21.

In Region 4, the April 21 testing rate was higher than the statewide number, at 193.9 tests per 10,000 residents, an increase from 178.4. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was far higher than the state average at 4.3 percent, but still down from 4.4 percent on April 21.

According to Thursday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 7,102,986 COVID-19 tests so far.

Gender, underlying conditions

By gender, the state’s bi-weekly report shows women still 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, 53.3 percent to 46.7 percent for women.

Initially, LDH reported that 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state were in the Black community. That number dropped to 38.27 percent as of May 5, while White victims still make up 60.29 percent of all fatal cases.

The Native American/Alaskan Native total was at 0.15 percent. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander data remained at 0.08 percent. Other races identified include Asian at 0.78 percent and Other at 0.37 percent.

The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the April 21 report were hypertension (62.99 percent), diabetes (36.94 percent), and cardiac disease (27.64 percent).

Other factors included neurological disorders (26.32 percent), chronic kidney disease (21.76 percent), obesity (21.55 percent), congestive heart failure (16.43 percent), pulmonary issues (14.96 percent), cancer (9.01 percent), and asthma (4.19 percent). Only 4.28 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.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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