BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The positivity rate based on the number of coronavirus cases confirmed by test results reported to the Louisiana Department of Health rose to just under 10 percent Monday, approaching the benchmark set by federal health officials for indicating progress in slowing the spread.
The positivity rate for the 846 of positive results out of 8,526 tests reported Monday is 9.9 percent.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has noted in previous briefings that the World Health Organization and the CDC have a goal of 10 percent positivity or less as an indicator of progress in slowing the spread of the disease. The state’s average daily positivity rate was below six percent in the first half of June. That average based on available data has risen to over seven percent over the last two weeks.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Louisiana now totals 57,081. Five more deaths were also reported Monday, bring the total statewide to 3,901.
The LDH says 96% of the cases reported Monday were community spread and that the majority of the tests were collected between June 22 and June 29, bringing the total number of tests to-date for the coronavirus to 704,637. The state’s overall positivity rate since testing began is now 8.10 percent.
The state health department also noted that 46% of the cases reported Monday are among people 29 years old and younger.
In fact, the highest number of coronavirus cases is now among 18 to 29-year-olds, according to the LDH COVID-19 dashboard. As of Monday, there were 10,779 cases in that age group and 11 deaths.
The data shows the virus is more deadly among those who are older, particularly those over the age of 70. But it is the spread of the virus among those who are younger and more mobile to the more vulnerable that have state health officials concerned.
The number of people in the hospital for treatment of the coronavirus continues to rise, jumping from 715 Sunday to 737. The number of patients on ventilators also rose by three to 79.
The LDH updates the number of people who are presumed recovered from the coronavirus weekly and on Monday added another 2,433 to for a total of 42,225. Edwards noted in his briefing last week that more people are now being confirmed positive per week than are being added to the tally of presumed recoveries.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and be life-threatening.
There were 74 newly confirmed coronavirus cases reported in Northwest Louisiana on Monday, 49 of them in Caddo Parish. The Louisiana Department of Health is still reporting 232 deaths in Caddo, which is one more death than the 231 reported by the Caddo Coroner’s office as of Friday afternoon. There can be a lag in locally reported cases and deaths appearing on the state health department dashboard.
Bossier is reporting another 11 confirmed cases. Webster added seven and DeSoto five. Claiborne Parish also added two new cases. There have been no new deaths reported in any other NWLA Parishes since Bossier and Webster each added one more Friday.
As of noon Monday, June 29, the LDH was reporting the following data on confirmed cases, deaths, and testing in Northwest Louisiana:
- Caddo – 3,260 case(s) | 232 death(s) | 475 state tests | 54,477 commercial tests
- Bossier – 836 case(s) | 29 death(s) | 47 state tests |21,372 commercial tests
- De Soto – 341 case(s) | 18 death(s) | 70 state tests | 4,436 commercial tests
- Webster – 409 case(s) | 10 death(s) | 174 state tests | 6,488 commercial tests
- Claiborne – 116 case(s) | 11 death(s) | 92 state tests | 1,950 commercial tests
- Bienville – 220 case(s) | 26 death(s) | 196 state tests | 2,700 commercial tests
- Natchitoches – 280 case(s) | 14 death(s) | 303 state tests | 3,039 commercial tests
- Sabine – 77 case(s) | 1 death(s) | 179 state tests | 2,486 commercial tests
- Red River – 60 case(s) | 8 death(s) | 19 state tests | 739 commercial tests