According to Thursday’s Louisiana Department of Health data, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide dropped to 472 Wednesday, a decrease of five from 477 on Tuesday. Data showed the number of patients on ventilators dropped by three, to 85.
In Region 4, which encompasses the Acadiana area, hospitalizations were up for the third day in a row, rising by six to 52 Wednesday. The region’s number of ventilator cases remained at eight for the fifth straight day.
Those numbers are still commensurate with the COVID patient load the region saw from March through July of this year, when COVID-19 hospitalizations ranged from 30 to 60 on any given day until the Delta variant surge drove infections, hospitalizations and deaths through the roof, nearly doubling any one of the three previous spikes in the pandemic here.
Region 4’s ICU bed occupancy was at 129 Wednesday. There were 39 ICU beds available across the seven-parish area. That put the percentage of occupied ICU beds at 76.8 percent.
In Region 3, which stretches from St. Mary Parish east to Lafourche and north to St. Charles, 41 of 52 ICU beds were occupied as of Wednesday. To the west, where Region 5 encompasses the area from Allen, Jefferson Davis and Cameron parishes to the Texas-Louisiana state line, 42 of 83 reported ICU beds were available.
The overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 was also up slightly, at 76 percent Wednesday, with 408 of 1,699 beds available.
The state recorded 28 new COVID-19 deaths since Wednesday, bringing the total to 14,296. The number of COVID-19 cases reported rose by 842 since Wednesday, to 751,315.
Iberia Parish had logged 12,342 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, an increase of two. The parish COVID-19 death toll remained at 223. In St. Martin Parish, new cases identified brought the total there to 8,323, an increase of 15. The number of deaths remained at 160.
In St. Mary Parish, new cases rose by seven, to 8,489, with deaths rising by two, to 216.
The vaccine tracker at the Mayo Clinic shows Louisiana with 52.5 percent of its population having had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 46.3 percent of the residents fully vaccinated. The state has also dropped in the ranking of most vaccinated states, going from seventh at the end of summer to fifth, with Arkansas passing by on the way out of the basement.
As of Oct. 6, unvaccinated individuals account for 84 percent of the new cases and 80 percent of the deaths from COVID-19, while the unvaccinated account for 83 percent of the current hospitalized cases.
As of Oct. 6, the state’s seven-day COVID-19 test percent positivity was at 3.1 percent, down from 3.7 percent on Sept. 29.
In Iberia Parish, the seven-day test positivity average was twice that, at 3.6 percent on Oct. 6, down half from 7.3 percent on Sept. 29. In St. Martin Parish, the percentage dropped to 3.8 percent on Oct. 6, down from 4.5 percent on Sept. 29. St. Mary Parish saw a 23 percent decrease, from 4.9 percent on Sept. 29 to 5.1 percent on Oct. 6.
New seven-day test positivity rates are released each Wednesday for the week ending seven days prior.