COVID-19
The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the death of another child from COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the total of pediatric deaths during the fourth coronavirus surge to seven. In total, 16 children younger than 18 have died from COVID in Louisiana.
 
The child was between the ages of 12 and 17. No further information will be released on this death.
 
"Just five days ago, our hearts were heavy as we mourned the sixth child to lose their life to COVID-19 in this surge," said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter.  "Here we are once more, grieving as another promising young life ends too soon. It's incumbent upon all of us to get the vaccine and wear a mask to protect ourselves and one another, including our children."

According to Monday’s Louisiana Department of Health update, the state recorded 99 new COVID-19 deaths since Tuesday, including the latest juvenile death, bringing the total as of Wednesday to 13,657. The number of COVID-19 cases reported rose by 1,906 since Tuesday, to 732,005. 

Iberia Parish had logged 12,146 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, an increase of 34. The parish COVID-19 death toll remained at 217. In St. Martin Parish, new cases identified brought the total there to 8,148, an increase of 22. The number of deaths rose by three, to 157.

In St. Mary Parish, new cases rose to 8,257, an increase of 25, with deaths remaining at 207.

According to Wednesday’s LDH data, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was at 1,221 Tuesday, down 18 from 1,239 Monday. Over the same period, the data showed the number of patients on ventilators rose Tuesday to 225, up five from Monday’s total of 220.

In Region 4, which encompasses the Acadiana area, hospitalizations dropped Tuesday to 135, down 13 from 148 Monday. The region’s number of ventilator cases dropped to 22, down one from 23 Monday.

Region 4’s ICU bed occupancy rose by six, to 150 Tuesday. There were 18 ICU beds available across the seven-parish area. That put the percentage of occupied ICU beds up slightly, at 89.2 percent. 

In Region 3, which stretches from St. Mary Parish east to Lafourche and north to St. Charles, 40 of 46 ICU beds were occupied as of Tuesday, but that total is down by 50 from the 96 ICU beds available prior to Hurricane Ida’s passage. To the west, where Region 5 encompasses the area from Allen, Jefferson Davis and Cameron parishes to the Texas-Louisiana state line, 18 of 80 reported ICU beds were available.

The overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 rose more than two points, to 78.1 percent Tuesday, with 373 of 1,703 beds available.

As of Sept. 15, the state’s seven-day COVID-19 test percent positivity was at 6.7 percent, down from 9.8 percent on Sept. 8. 

As of Sept. 15, the state’s seven-day COVID-19 test percent positivity was at 10 percent, down from 11.3 percent on Sept. 8. 

In Iberia Parish, the seven-day test positivity average was at 11 percent on Sept. 15, down from 13.4 percent on Sept. 8. In St. Martin Parish, the percentage dropped by more than a third for the second week in a row, from 9.7 percent on Sept. 8 to 6 percent on Sept. 15. St. Mary Parish saw an even larger decrease, from 11.4 percent on Sept. 8 to 8.2 percent on Sept. 15, a 28 percent drop.

New seven-day test positivity rates are released each Wednesday for the week ending seven days prior.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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