The Louisiana Department of Health added 832 new COVID-19 cases Thursday based on 14,338 new tests, pushing the state’s total of identified cases to 421,846.
Of the overall identified cases, 364,535 are confirmed, with 57,311 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.
The rough positivity rate for the new cases reported Thursday was 5.8 percent.
Louisiana had 9,406 total COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday, with 15 new deaths added. Of the total deaths, 8,753 are confirmed with 653 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 Jan. 27. The state has not updated its demographic information since then.
In Iberia Parish, the number of cases rose to 6,353 Thursday, an increase of five. Of those, 5,845 are confirmed, with 508 probable. The number of deaths remained at 142, with 130 confirmed and 12 probable. There have been 79,277 tests performed in the parish. The seven-day average test positivity dropped 10.61 percent, from 6.6 percent on Feb. 3 to 5.9 percent on Feb. 10. The incidence of tests dropped by 20.73 percent, from 231.18 per 10,000 population on Feb. 3 to 183.25 on Feb. 10.
St. Martin Parish’s number of identified cases rose to 4,786, an increase of 19, with 56,814 tests performed. The seven-day average test positivity rate dropped from 7.3 percent on Feb. 3 to 5.4 percent on Feb. 10, a 26 percent decrease, while the testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped from 132.41 on Feb. 3 to 87.65 on Feb. 10. The number of deaths rose by one, to 110, with 102 confirmed and eight probable.
In St. Mary Parish, the seven-day positivity rate dropped to 3.8 percent as of Feb. 10, down from 4 percent on Feb. 3, a 5 percent decrease. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped as well, from 170.77 on Feb. 3 to 132.6 on Feb. 10. Total cases Thursday rose to 4,017, after 48,545 tests. Of those positive tests, 3,281 are confirmed, with 736 probable. The number of COVID-19 deaths remained at 118, with 106 confirmed and 12 probable.
Around the state
In Lafayette Parish, the Thursday case count rose by 29, to 21,344, with the number of tests rising to 278,766. The seven-day test positivity average dropped from 6.2 percent on Feb. 3 to 3.8 percent as of Feb. 10, a decrease of 38.71 percent. The testing incidence rate per 10,000 population dropped during the same period, from 139.22 to 82.79. The number of deaths remained at 253, with 236 confirmed and 17 probable.
The number of cases in Jefferson Parish rose to 43,172 on Thursday compared to 27,875 in Orleans Parish. The latest data shows Orleans administered more tests, with 724,614, compared to 539,974 tests in Jefferson.
Jefferson Parish continues to surpass the COVID-19 death toll in Orleans Parish. Orleans Parish deaths remained at 750, with 703 confirmed and 47 probable. In Jefferson Parish, the total number of deaths rose to 830, with 800 confirmed and 30 probable.
The LDH reporting on hospitalizations statewide due to coronavirus infections dropped to 823 on Wednesday, a decrease of 26 from 849 on Tuesday. The number of patients on ventilators rose by two, to 128.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Region 4, which covers Acadiana, dropped by five, to 69 Wednesday. The number of patients on ventilators dropped by one, to nine.
Overall hospital bed occupancy in Region 4 Wednesday was at 67.7 percent, with 1,142 of the region’s beds occupied and 544 available. The total number of reported beds was at 1,686.
Overall intensive care unit occupancy across Acadiana remained below 80 percent Wednesday, at 76 percent, with 124 of 163 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 86,188 Thursday. It is the demographic group with the largest number of identified cases by far. The number of deaths reported in the group was 31.
The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the 30 to 39 age group was at 67,662, with 123 deaths, followed closely by the 40 to 49 age group, with 61,259 cases and 273 deaths, and the 50 to 59 age range with 60,673 cases, including 783 fatalities reported.
In the 60 to 69 age group, there were 48,861 cases reported and 1,756 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 44,231. The number of deaths in that group rose to 6,433 — 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 52,708 cases total — 9,626 age 4 and under — and seven reported deaths.
The state’s seven-day average of tests given as of Feb. 10 was 290.2 tests per 10,000 residents, down from 323.6 on Feb. 3. The positivity rate among those tests dropped as of Feb. 10 to 5 percent, down from 6.2 percent on Feb. 3.
In Region 4, the Feb. 10 testing rate was at 282.1 tests per 10,000 residents. The seven-day average percent positive of those tests was lower than the state average at 4.6 percent, down from 6 percent on Feb. 3.
According to Thursday’s update, labs in Louisiana have processed 5,742,470 COVID-19 tests so far.
Gender, underlying conditions
By gender, the state’s weekly report shows women 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, 52.9 percent to 47.1 percent for women.
The number of presumed recovered cases, as of Feb. 15, rose to 396,834. In order to be considered recovered, a living patient must either be out of the hospital and 14 days past a positive test result, or 21 days past a positive test date if their hospitalization status is unknown.
Initially, LDH reported that 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state were in the Black community. That number dropped to 39.63 percent as of Jan. 27, while White victims now make up 59 percent of all fatal cases.
The Native American/Alaskan Native total was at 0.12 percent. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander data remained at 0.08 percent. Other races identified include Asian at 0.69 percent, Unknown at 0.06 percent and Other at 0.38 percent.
That data is supposed to be reported once every two weeks as of the beginning of the year. The scheduled update on Feb. 10 did not occur, meaning the state’s demographic data is now at least three weeks old.
The top three underlying conditions among COVID-19 deaths in the last report were hypertension (65.5 percent), diabetes (38.59 percent), and neurological disorders (27.68 percent).
Other factors included cardiac disease (27.63 percent), chronic kidney disease (22.18 percent), obesity (21.57 percent), congestive heart failure (16.86 percent), pulmonary issues (14.22 percent), cancer (9.22 percent), and asthma (4.12 percent). Only 4.3 percent of all patients had no underlying conditions.
Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at email@example.com.