Nearly 2,000 more cases identified in state

Iberia Parish President Larry Richard spoke with reporters Monday afternoon to emphasize the need for masks and social distancing as Iberia Parish logged 76 new COVID-19 infections in Monday’s update from the state Department of Health.

The state Department of Health update Tuesday showed the state adding almost 2,000 more identified infections to its COVID-19 total.

Overall, LDH reported 68,263 cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, an increase of 1,936, or 2.92 percent, from Monday’s 66,327.

Over the last seven days, the state’s number of identified infections grew 17.5 percent, from 58,095 last Tuesday.

The state cumulative tally of COVID-19 deaths rose by 23, going from 3,188 in Monday’s report to 3,211 on Tuesday. That rise represents an increase of 0.72 percent. As of Monday, 108 of those deaths were still considered probable COVID-19 fatalities pending final testing. The number of probable deaths attributed to COVID-19 is updated each week on Monday.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 rose by 61, to 1,025, with 109 of those patients remaining on ventilators. In District 4, which covers Acadiana, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 11, to 198, with the number of patients on ventilators dropping by three, to 19.

Although there is not yet a shortage of hospital rooms or ventilators in Region 4, the patients currently occupying intensive care rooms were at 75 percent of capacity — 132 of 176 beds. Overall, 1,192 of the 1,715 available hospital beds in the region — 69.5 percent — are occupied.

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose by 17, to 995. The number of deaths rose by two, to 47, with 10,572 tests performed in the parish. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24 the parish had 246.68 cases reported per 100,000 population.

On Monday, Iberia Parish President Larry Richard held a press conference after the parish showed its highest single-day gain in identified cases, rising by 76. He asked residents to abide by sanitation, masking and social distancing protocols. He added that if the infection rate continued to rise he would consider reimposing some restrictions on activities, although he stopped short of saying he would put the parish back under Phase 1 guidelines.

Richard said he would be meeting today with leaders from Iberia Medical Center, Iberia Parish Fire District 1, Homeland Security, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office and other organizations to discuss how to limit the spread of COVID-19 without stymying the economic growth in the parish.

“I think the people of Iberia Parish need to go back to maybe some of the things they were doing before we got into Phase Two,” Richard said. “Continue what you continue to do, but practice personal hygiene, social distancing, and things of that nature.”

Although Iberia Parish had seen the growth of the coronavirus footprint in the parish slow down, the number of residents testing positive has doubled in the last two weeks, to 995 Tuesday.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 51, to 897, with 11,596 tests performed. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, the parish had 259.23 cases reported per 100,000 population. The number of deaths remained at 27.

In St. Mary Parish, the total cases rose from 600 to 616, after 6,732 tests. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by one, to 39. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24 the parish had 124.56 cases reported per 100,000 population.

In Lafayette Parish, the reported case count rose from 2,917 on Monday to 3,000 Friday, an increase of 83 cases. The number of deaths rose by one, to 48. There have been 46,924 tests reported in the parish.The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, the parish had 207.18 cases reported per 100,000 population.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish was at 10,097 on Monday, an increase of 175, compared to an increase of 63, to 8,206 cases, in Orleans Parish. Jefferson Parish’s testing has been more aggressive than that in Orleans — 91,480 tests in Jefferson compared to 81,322 in Orleans.

Despite lower case numbers, the more urban Orleans Parish has seen 48 more deaths than its suburban neighbor. Orleans Parish deaths rose by two, to 536, after remaining unchanged for five days. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths increased by one, to 488. The LDH incidence map shows that from June 18 to June 24, Jefferson Parish had 134.55 cases reported per 100,000 population. In Orleans, that number was 63.94 per 100,000.

The 18 to 29 age group had 14,383 cases Monday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases. The number of deaths reported in the group remained at 11.

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30-39 age group was at 11,098, with 57 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 10,490 cases and 111 deaths, and the 50-59 age range with 10,417 cases, including 280 fatalities reported.

The 70 and above group case count was at 9,295. The number of deaths in that group rose by 11, to 2,178 — still the largest number of fatalities for any age group by far, more than the number of deaths in all other groups combined and two-thirds of the total COVID-19 attributed deaths in the state.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 8,331 cases reported and 571 deaths. This age group has the second-highest number of deaths, behind only the 70 and above demographic group.

The under 18 group, the smallest demographic segment, had 4,095 cases total, with three deaths reported.

Labs in Louisiana have processed almost 850,000 COVID-19 tests so far. The state’s reference laboratory has performed 39,588 COVID-19 tests. Commercial labs have contributed 808,010 for a total of 847,598 tests.

By gender, the state’s daily report shows women making up the largest part — 56 percent — of the identified COVID-19 cases in the state, with men comprising 42 percent and the other two percent identified as unknown or other. On the other hand, the COVID-19 deaths are predominantly among men, 53 percent to 47 percent for women.

The number of presumed recovered cases, as of June 30, rose to 43,026. 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. As with the number of probable fatalities, that statistic is scheduled to be updated weekly, on Monday, but had not been as of Tuesday afternoon.

The breakdown of COVID-19 fatalities by ethnicity and race showed some change last week, with the percentage of those deaths in the black community making up more than half of all cases.

Initially, LDH reported that 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state were in the black community. That number has since hovered in the mid-to-high 50-percent range. It was at 52.42 percent Monday, with Caucasian victims making up 46.05 percent of all cases. Other races identified include Asian at 0.72 percent, other at 0.50 percent, Native American/Alaska Native at 0.13 percent and Native Hawaiin/Pacific Islander at 0.08 percent. That data is only reported once a week, updated on Monday.

The number is still disproportionate to the demographics of the state’s population. African Americans make up about 40 percent of Louisiana’s populace.

The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the latest report were hypertension (62.09 percent), diabetes (37.82 percent), and cardiac disease (21.22 percent).

Other factors included chronic kidney disease (20.41 percent), obesity (19.86 percent), neurological disorders (14.52 percent), congestive heart failure (14.32 percent), pulmonary issues (12.54 percent), cancer (7.62 percent), and asthma (4.28 percent).

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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