ACA.coronaupdate.01.050620

Elizabeth Delahoussaye, RN, administers a COVID-19 coronavirus test on a drive-through patient at the Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Lafayette, La.

The coronavirus outbreak in Lafayette and surrounding parishes continued to show rapid growth Monday, with more record-breaking weekly case counts and high positive test rates.

The 212 cases reported in Region 4 on Monday was more than double those in any of the state’s other eight regions. Lafayette Parish, with about 5% of Louisiana’s population, recorded 86 new cases Monday, more than 10% of those across the state.

There have now been 5,300 cases recorded in Region 4 since the pandemic arrived here three months ago, and more than a quarter of those cases have come in the past week. 

COVID-19 inpatient hospitalizations, meanwhile, were increasing at a faster rate in the seven-parish Region 4 than in the days leading up to their peak in mid-April. There were 110 hospitalizations as of Monday, marking a 57% increase over the past seven days. The most COVID-19 hospitalizations recorded thus far were 125 on April 10, following a 47% increase over the previous week. Intensive care units in the region were at 75% capacity as of Monday.

The first case spikes in the spring disproportionately affected people over the age of 70, but the June spike has overwhelmingly hit the 18-29 age range the hardest. Weekly caseloads among that group in Region 4 have roughly doubled every week this month, according to state data.

It is not clear the shifting age demographic will affect hospitalization and death rates. Still, recent positive test rates and daily case tallies suggest the hospitalizations are not likely to slow down in the near future. Deaths are also starting to increase in Lafayette Parish, with eight in the past six days. There were seven deaths recorded in the previous three weeks.

Lafayette Parish’s seven-day tally of 618 on Monday was far beyond anything seen previously. Less than half that number of cases were reported in the 22 days prior to the hospitalization peak on April 10, dating to when the first cases were recorded.

Region 4 and Lafayette Parish have both recorded greater than 10% positive rates for three days in a row — the first time either have done so — while also setting new records for seven-day case counts on each of those days.

Those results do not include Saturday, June 27, because the state did not report any results that day. The Sunday, June 28, results include those not reported the previous day.

Parish Total caseload 6/22 (since 3/19) Total caseload 6/29 Change %-pos 6/22-6/29  
Acadia669850 +27% 10.4%  
Evangeline 125 177 +42% 7.5%  
Iberia 482673 +40% 16.3%  
Lafayette 1440 2058 +43% 11.7%  
St. Landry 484 619 +28%6.9%  
St. Martin 526 685 +30% 10.8%  
Vermilion 139 238 +71% 7.2%  
Region 4 3865 5300 +37% 10.5% 

Email Ben Myers at bmyers@theadvocate.com. Follow Ben Myers on Twitter, @blevimyers.