According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the state added 1,156 new COVID-19 cases Friday based on 32,362 new tests, pushing the state’s total of identified cases to 418,585.

Of the overall identified cases, 361,861 are confirmed, with 56,724 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 Friday was 3.6 percent.

Louisiana had 9,276 total COVID-19 deaths as of Friday, with 37 new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 8,646 are confirmed with 630 considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing.

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

Local numbers

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases climbed to 6,305 Friday, an increase of five. Of those, 5,801 are confirmed, with 504 probable. The number of deaths remained at 141, with 129 confirmed and 12 probable. There have been 78,026 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 4,759, an increase of nine, with 55,906 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 Thursday rose by 11, to 3,997, after 48,143 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,259 are confirmed, with 738 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 117, with 106 confirmed and 11 probable.

Around the state

In Lafayette Parish, the Friday case count rose by 37, to 21,237, with the number of tests rising to 275,665. 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 remained at 248, with 230 confirmed and 18 probable.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 42,766 on Friday compared to 27,625 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 706,876, compared to 530,537 tests in Jefferson.

Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 745, with 698 confirmed and 47 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose to 820, with 791 confirmed and 29 probable.

Hospitalizations

The LDH reporting on hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections dropped to 1,001 on Thursday, a decrease of 51 from 1,052 on Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators remained at 151.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped by three, to 99 Thursday. The number of patients on ventilators rose by two, to 19.

Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Wednesday was at 76.1 percent, with 1,299 of the region’s beds occupied and 408 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,707.

Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana remained below 90 percent Wednesday, at 85 percent, with 142 of 167 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 85,552 Friday. 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 67,041, with 122 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 60,763 cases and 267 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 60,215 cases, including 770 fatalities reported.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 48,518 cases reported and 1,720 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 44,019. The number of deaths in that group rose to 6,359 — 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 52,174 cases total — 9,542 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.

Seven-day average

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 5,662,546 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 dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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