The latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health showed the state with 427 new cases Thursday after 15,129 reported tests. That puts the rough positivity rate at 2.8 percent.
The new cases pushed the state’s total of identified cases to 467,475. Of the overall identified cases, 395,882 are confirmed, with 71,593 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 10,517 total COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday, with eight new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 9,552 are confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with 965 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 7,212 Thursday, an increase of 18. Of those, 6,543 are confirmed, with 669 probable. The number of deaths remained at 153, with 138 confirmed and 15 probable. There have been 98,647 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 rose by one, to 5,363, with 68,951 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 remained at 116, with 105 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 Thursday rose to 4,774 after 61,266 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,688 are confirmed, with 1,086 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose to 139, with 119 confirmed and 20 probable.
Around the state
In Lafayette Parish, the Thursday case count rose to 23,820, an increase of 41, with the number of tests rising to 345,579. 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 to 46,544 on Thursday, compared to an increase to 30,397 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 972,899, compared to 677,979 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 896, with 850 confirmed and 46 probable.
The LDH report showed hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections climbed to 311 on Wednesday, up four from 307 on Tuesday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by one, to 27.
In Region 4, which covers Acadiana, hospitalizations dropped by two, to 53 Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by one, to six.
Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Wednesday was at 70.8 percent, with 1,204 of the region’s beds occupied and 496 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,700.
Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana was at 84.4 percent Wednesday, with 130 of 154 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 96,157 Thursday. 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 75,590, with 135 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 67,997 cases and 323 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 66,802 cases, including 914 fatalities reported.
In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 52,749 cases reported and 2,007 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 46,505. The number of deaths in that group rose to 7,092 — 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 61,367 cases total — 11,326 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 7,298,303 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.