Thursday’s COVID-19 update from the Louisiana Department of Health showed a continued climb in the number of hospitalizations in the state, adding almost 100 cases to cross the 1,600 mark.

According to the LDH statistics, there were 4,413 new COVID-19 cases reported to the state Thursday. The daily update showed 1,620 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with 162 of those patients on ventilators, an increase of 18.

Region 4, which encompasses Acadiana, continues to post high numbers as well. Hospitalizations as of Wednesday were at 211, the highest they have been since Jan. 14 and an increase of 11 overnight. That is up from 129 only a week ago, and showing no signs of slowing. Of those cases, 22 are on ventilators, the highest since Feb. 2.

Region 4’s ICU beds are full, according to the latest state data. As of Wednesday, there were only two of the 156 beds across the region available, for an occupancy rate of 98.7 percent. The overall hospital bed occupancy is at 78.9 percent, with 359 of 1,705 available.

In a briefing Wednesday, Ochsner Health System representatives said the group currently has 548 COVID-19 patients in its facilities across Louisiana and Mississippi. That represents a 700 percent increase in COVID-19 patients during the last month and a 75 percent increase in the last week. 

The numbers for Ochsner’s Lafayette facilities are also moving in the wrong direction. The number of COVID-19 patients climbed by 66.67 percent, from 54 on July 21 to 90 on July 28.

The most recent seven-day percent positive count, on July 21, shows that 14.4 percent of all COVID-19 tests in Region 4 returned a positive result, the highest since Jan. 6. That is also 1.2 percent higher than the state’s seven-day percent positive rate, which was at 13.2 percent on July 21.

Across the Teche Area, the same trends are in motion. In Iberia Parish, the seven-day positivity rate rose by four full points in a week — from 11.6 percent on July 14 to 15.6 percent on July 21. That comes after a three-point rise in the previous week. 

St. Mary Parish saw a 3.1 percent increase, from 13.1 percent to 16.2 percent. In St. Martin Parish, the seven-day average positivity rose 5.4 points over the same period, from 15.1 to 20.5 percent.


Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at

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