Total identified cases in state nears 460,000; deaths over 10,000

The latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health showed the state with 574 new cases Thursday after 24,945 reported tests. That puts the rough positivity rate at 2.3 percent.

The new cases pushed the state’s total of identified cases to 457,896. Of the overall identified cases, 389,057 are confirmed, with 68,839 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 10,376 total COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday, with nine new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 9,460 are confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with 916 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 21.

Local numbers

In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose to 6,964 Thursday, an increase of 25. Of those, 6,342 are confirmed, with 622 probable. The number of deaths remained at 153, with 138 confirmed and 15 probable. There have been 94,750 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity rose by 60.4 percent, from 5.8 percent on April 14 to 9.3 percent on April 21. The incidence of tests rose by 16.4 percent, from 102.9 per 10,000 population on April 14 to 119.82 on April 21.

St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose by 12, to 5,207, with 65,975 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate dropped from 8.9 percent on April 14 to 7.2 percent on April 21, a 19.1 percent decrease, while the testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped 23.7 percent, from 110.03 on April 14 to 83.92 on April 21. The number of deaths remained at 116, with 105 confirmed and 11 probable.

In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 3 percent as of April 21, down from 3.3 percent on April 14, a 9.1 percent decrease. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population fell from 78.35 on April 14 to 46.2 on April 21, a 41 percent decrease. Total cases Thursday rose to 4,657 after 59,029 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,629 are confirmed, with 1,028 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 134, with 117 confirmed and 17 probable.

Around the state

In Lafayette Parish, the Thursday case count rose to 23,194, an increase of 65, with the number of tests rising to 331,496. The seven-day test positivity average declined to 4.5 percent as of April 21, down 19.6 percent from 5.6 percent on April 14. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 102.15 on April 14 to 78.26 on April 21, a 23.4 percent decrease. The number of deaths rose by one, to 275, with 253 confirmed and 22 probable.

The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 45,853 on Thursday, compared to an increase to 29,845 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 930,878, compared to 649,784 tests in Jefferson.

Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths rose to 792, with 738 confirmed and 54 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose to 891, with 848 confirmed and 43 probable.

Hospitalizations

The LDH report showed hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections rose to 308 on Wednesday, up one from 307 on Tuesday. The number of patients on ventilators rose by two, to 52.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped by four, to 67 Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by two, to eight.

Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Wednesday was at 72.1 percent, with 1,231 of the region’s beds occupied and 477 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,708.

Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana was at 82.1 percent Wednesday, with 124 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 93,886 Thursday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 35.

The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 73,832, with 133 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 66,640 cases and 308 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 65,668 cases, including 889 fatalities reported.

In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 52,127 cases reported and 1,974 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 46,100. The number of deaths in that group rose to 7,030 — 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 59,336 cases total — 10,903 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.

Seven-day average

The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of April 21 was 184.4 tests per 10,000 residents, up from 183.2 on April 14. The positivity rate among those tests dropped a tenth of a point as of April 21 to 2.8 percent, down from 2.9 percent on April 14.

In Region 4, the April 21 testing rate was lower, at 175.7 tests per 10,000 residents, an increase from 169.2. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was far higher than the state average at 4.4 percent, but still down from 4.8 percent on April 14.

According to Tuesday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 6,998,404 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, 53.2 percent to 46.8 percent for women.

Initially, LDH reported that 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state were in the Black community. That number dropped to 38.24 percent as of April 21, while White victims now make up 60.29 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 0.79 percent and Other at 0.39 percent.

The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the April 21 report were hypertension (63.04 percent), diabetes (39.95 percent), and cardiac disease (27.66 percent).

Other factors included neurological disorders (26.42 percent), chronic kidney disease (21.63 percent), obesity (21.3 percent), congestive heart failure (16.48 percent), pulmonary issues (15.01 percent), cancer (9.03 percent), and asthma (4.15 percent). Only 4.24 percent of all patients had no underlying conditions.

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

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

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