The latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health showed the state with 346 new cases Friday after 15,826 reported tests. That puts the rough positivity rate at 2.2 percent.
The new cases pushed the state’s total of identified cases to 467,815. Of the overall identified cases, 396,120 are confirmed, with 71,695 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 10,522 total COVID-19 deaths as of Friday, with five new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 9,554 are confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with 968 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.
In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose to 7,213 Friday, an increase of one. Of those, 6,542 are confirmed, with 671 probable. The number of deaths remained at 153, with 138 confirmed and 15 probable. There have been 98,746 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity rose 24.7 percent, from 7.3 percent on May 5 to 9.1 percent on May 12. The incidence of tests rose 1.1 percent, from 125.5 per 10,000 population on May 5 to 126.9 on May 12.
St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases dropped by one, to 5,362, with 69,097 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate dropped from 6.6 percent on May 5 to 5 percent on May 12, a 24.2 percent decrease, while the testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped 48.3 percent, from 108.2 on May 5 to 56 on May 12. The number of deaths rose by one, to 117, with 106 confirmed and 11 probable.
In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate rose to 5.1 percent as of May 12, up from 3 percent on May 5, a 70 percent increase. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped from 90.4 on May 5 to 76.4 on May 12, a 15.6 percent decrease. Total cases Friday rose by 10, to 4,784, after 61,369 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,698 are confirmed, with 1,086 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 139, with 119 confirmed and 20 probable.
Around the state
In Lafayette Parish, the Friday case count rose to 23,853, an increase of 33, with the number of tests rising to 346,150. The seven-day test positivity average rose to 4.8 percent as of May 12, up 2.1 percent from 4.7 percent on May 5. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 85.3 on May 5 to 77.4 on May 12, a 9.2 percent decrease. The number of deaths remained at 280, with 254 confirmed and 26 probable.
The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose by 35, to 46,579 on Friday, compared to an increase of four, to 30,401 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 974,279, compared to 679,338 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 remained at 896, with 850 confirmed and 46 probable.
The LDH report showed hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections dropped to 294 on Thursday, down 17 from 311 on Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators remained at 27.
In Region 4, which covers Acadiana, hospitalizations dropped by three, to 50 Thursday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by one, to five.
Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Thursday was at 73.3 percent, with 1,238 of the region’s beds occupied and 452 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,690.
Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana was at 86.1 percent Thursday, with 130 of 151 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 96,225 Friday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 39.
The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 75,657, with 135 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 68,059 cases and 323 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 66,846 cases, including 916 fatalities reported.
In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 52,772 cases reported and 2,008 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 46,515. The number of deaths in that group rose to 7,094 — 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 61,432 cases total — 11,348 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.
The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of May 12 was 155 tests per 10,000 residents, down from 171.1 on May 5. The positivity rate among those tests rose four-tenths of a point as of May 12 to 3.4 percent, up from 3 percent on May 5.
In Region 4, the May 12 testing rate was lower than the statewide number, at 141.8 tests per 10,000 residents, a decrease from 175.6. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was far higher than the state average at 5.1 percent, up from 4.6 percent on May 5.
According to Thursday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 7,314,129 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.