The latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health showed the state with 478 new cases Thursday after 18,114 reported tests. That puts the rough positivity rate at 2.6 percent.
The new cases pushed the state’s total of identified cases to 470,331. Of the overall identified cases, 397,885 are confirmed, with 72,446 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 10,570 total COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday, with eight new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 9,592 are confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with 978 considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing.
The average age of fatal patients was at 74, while the median age remained at 76, as of May 19.
In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose to 7,260 Thursday, an increase of 10. Of those, 6,584 are confirmed, with 676 probable. The number of deaths rose by one, to 156, with 140 confirmed and 16 probable. There have been 100,037 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity dropped 56 percent, from 9.1 percent on May 12 to 4.0 percent on May 19. The incidence of tests also dropped 48.9 percent, from 126.9 per 10,000 population on May 12 to 64.8 on May 19.
St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 20, to 5,410, with 69,801 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate rose from 5 percent on May 12 to 7 percent on May 12, a 40 percent increase, while the testing incidence rate per 10,000 population rose 48.3 percent, from 56 on May 12 to 82.1 on May 19. The number of deaths remained at 117, with 106 confirmed and 11 probable.
In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate rose to 6.1 percent as of May 19, up from 5.1 percent on May 12, a 19.6 percent increase. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped from 76.4 on May 12 to 72.3 on May 19, a 5.3 percent decrease. Total cases Thursday rose to 4,827 after 61,931 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,718 are confirmed, with 1,109 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 139, with 119 confirmed and 20 probable.
Around the state
In Lafayette Parish, the Thursday case count rose to 23,990, an increase of 20, with the number of tests rising to 350,097. The seven-day test positivity average dropped to 4.7 percent as of May 19, down 2.1 percent from 4.8 percent on May 12. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 70 on May 12 to 79.9 on May 19, a 12.4 percent increase. The number of deaths remained at 287, with 258 confirmed and 29 probable.
The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 46,714 on Thursday, compared to an increase to 30,525 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 983,074, compared to 686,486 tests in Jefferson.
Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 793, with 739 confirmed and 54 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose to 898, with 851 confirmed and 47 probable.
The LDH report showed hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections rose to 273 on Wednesday, up six from 267 on Tuesday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by three, to 27.
In Region 4, which covers Acadiana, hospitalizations dropped by five, to 57 Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by one, to four.
Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Wednesday was at 73.3 percent, with 1,263 of the region’s beds occupied and 461 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,724.
Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana was at 79.1 percent Wednesday, with 125 of 158 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 96,811 Thursday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 40.
The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 76,143 with 136 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 68,452 cases and 327 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 67,135 cases, including 922 fatalities reported.
In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 52,952 cases reported and 2,021 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 46,638. The number of deaths in that group rose to 7,117 — 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 61,891 cases total — 11,437 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.
The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of May 19 was 153 tests per 10,000 residents, down from 162.1 on May 12. The positivity rate among those tests remained at 3.3 percent.
In Region 4, the May 19 testing rate was higher than the statewide number, at 158.5 tests per 10,000 residents, an increase from 142.1. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was down, but still higher than the state average at 4.6 percent, down from 5 percent on May 12.
According to Thursday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 7,387,755 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, 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent for women.
The percentage of COVID-19 deaths in the Black community rose slightly, to 38.34 percent as of May 19, while White victims make up 60.26 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 0.32 percent.
The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the May 19 report were hypertension (62.89 percent), diabetes (37.08 percent), and cardiac disease (27.7 percent).
Other factors included neurological disorders (26.23 percent), chronic kidney disease (21.73 percent), obesity (21.61 percent), congestive heart failure (16.38 percent), pulmonary issues (14.88 percent), cancer (9.06 percent), and asthma (4.21 percent). Only 4.37 percent of all patients had no underlying conditions.
Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at email@example.com.