Two cases of coronavirus reported in Lafayette

Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory held a late-night press conference Wednesday to announce that two Lafayette residents tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday evening.

Very little information was available. Although Dr. Tina Stefanski, regional medical director for the Department of Health, was on hand for the press conference and was peppered with questions, she did not release any details.

“This is the protocol we follow for every infectious disease,” Stefanski said. “This is actually more information than we would usually give.”

She did say that the two individuals were not being treated in a Lafayette hospital.

“They are not currently in an inpatient facility,” she said.

The state Department of Health also reported a seventh death related to COVID-19, the third death announced Wednesday.

The 72-year-old individual was a Jefferson Parish resident with no known connection to the Lambeth House, a retirement home in New Orleans where four other victims of the coronavirus lived.

The state’s fifth and sixth COVID-19 related deaths, reported earlier on Wednesday, were both residents of Lambeth House.

The latest death was the first COVID-19 death in Jefferson Parish and the first known COVID-19 death in Louisiana outside of Orleans Parish.

The first two deaths from the COVID-19 disease occurred last week in New Orleans. Both victims were patients in their 50s with underlying conditions at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans.

The next four victims were all residents of Lambeth House, the location of the only known cluster of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana. Those patients were all over 80 years old.

The number of cases identified through the state’s reference lab rose by 40 during the day Wednesday, to 280 at the LDH 5:30 p.m. update. That marks a rise of 84 cases over the previous 24-hour period.

The increase marks a 42-percent jump in the number of known cases in the state.

The number of tests administered at the state lab also increased, from 531 Tuesday evening to 703 Wednesday evening. That number does not include tests from commercial labs or other drive-through testing stations.

As more testing sites come online, the number of known infections in the state will likely continue to rise quickly.

There were no cases reported outside the 13 parishes previously identified, but two new cases are still under investigation to determine the parish of residence of the two patients.

Statistics released Wednesday show that the largest age group of known COVID-19 cases is made up of people between 40 and 49 years of age, with 67 cases. The second-largest group is a tie between the 50 to 59 range and the 60 to 69 age range, with 55 cases apiece. They are followed by the 70 and above group at 49 cases and the 30 to 39 range with 40 cases.

For the first time, the chart includes 15 cases in the 18 to 29 age group.

The identified cases so far are predominantly in female patients, with 54 percent to 46 percent for males.

The breakdown of cases by parish of the patient’s residence is as follows:

• Parish under investigation - 2 cases

• Ascension - 1 case

• Bossier - 2 cases

• Caddo - 6 cases

• East Baton Rouge - 3 cases

• Jefferson - 45 cases, 1 death

• Lafourche - 3 cases

• Orleans - 196 cases, 6 deaths

• St. Bernard - 3 cases

• St. Charles - 3 cases

• St. John the Baptist - 2 cases

• St. Tammany - 10 cases

• Terrebonne - 3 cases

• Washington - 1 case

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

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