BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – For the second time in a week, Northwest Louisiana on Thursday saw its biggest bump in new COVID-19 cases since the coronavirus first peaked in the state in April, as the number of hospitalizations in the region hover around peak levels reached in early May.
There were 252 total new cases reported from the nine NWLA parishes that make up Region 7 reported to the Louisiana Department Health on Thursday. It is the highest daily total new confirmed cases reported in the region since 304 were reported on April 4 and it is 17 more than the 235 new cases reported on Tuesday in NWLA.
The new cases in NWLA Thursday include 109 additional cases in Caddo and 35 more cases in Bossier. It also includes 32 new cases in Webster and 27 in Sabine. Natchitoches added another 22 cases. De Soto has 14 more cases and Bienville reported six more. Claiborne also reported five more cases and Red River three. For a second day in a row, no new deaths were reported in any of the nine NWLA parishes.
As of noon Thursday, July 9, the LDH was reporting the following data on confirmed cases, deaths, and testing in Northwest Louisiana:
- Caddo – 4,055 case(s) | 243 death(s) | 477 state tests | 66,675 commercial tests
- Bossier – 1,177 case(s) | 36 death(s) | 135 state tests |26,299 commercial tests
- De Soto – 408 case(s) | 19 death(s) | 75 state tests | 5,469 commercial tests
- Webster – 490 case(s) | 12 death(s) | 177 state tests | 8,203 commercial tests
- Claiborne – 140 case(s) | 10 death(s) | 100 state tests | 2,518 commercial tests
- Bienville – 254 case(s) | 28 death(s) | 212 state tests | 3,210 commercial tests
- Natchitoches – 362 case(s) | 14 death(s) | 332 state tests | 4,970 commercial tests
- Sabine – 157 case(s) | 1 death(s) | 186 state tests | 3,200 commercial tests
- Red River – 69 case(s) | 9 death(s) | 49 state tests | 1,053 commercial tests
Statewide, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by another 1,843 Thursday, with another 16 deaths reported.
That brings the total number of cases statewide to 71,994 and 3,247 deaths.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 97% of the cases were community spread and 39% of the cases involve individuals aged 29 and under.
The newly confirmed cases came from the results of 14,403 tests reported to the state health department since Wednesday. Of those tests, 12.80 percent came back positive. That is well above the 8.54 percent daily positivity the state has been averaging over the past few weeks and over the 10-percent threshold set by the World Health Organization for communities and the economy to reopen safely.
The average daily positivity rate for the past two weeks statewide has been 8.54%. The rise in these rates was even more pronounced Thursday in several NWLA parishes. In Natchitoches: 22 out of 79 total tests came back positive. That’s 27.85 percent compared to the average 18.33 percent rate in the parish over the past two weeks. In Sabine Parish, 27 out of 101 tests reported Thursday positive, for a rate of 26.73 percent, compared to a two-week average of 7.74 percent. In other parishes:
- Bienville: 6 out of 31 tests positive: 19.35% (2wk avg: 3.47%)
- De Soto: 14 out of 75 tests positive: 18.67% (2wk avg: 5.92%)
- Red River: 3 out of 19 tests positive: 15.79% (2wk avg: 6.09%)
- Claiborne: 5 out of 38 tests positive: 13.16% (2wk avg: 5.53%)
- Webster: 31 out of 249 tests positive: 12.45% (2wk avg: 6.09%)
- Caddo: 109 out of 1,319 tests positive: 8.26% (2wk avg: 6.83%)
Bossier was the only parish with a lower positivity rate Thursday than their 6.99-percent two-week average: 35 out of 697 tests came back positive, for a daily rate of 5.02%.
Statewide, hospitalizations for the coronavirus have risen by 20 since Wednesday to 1,042. The number of patients on ventilators rose by five to 110. Hospitalizations in Region 7 remained at 22 after reaching 224 Tuesday, which is how many were hospitalized at peak on May 10. The number of patients on ventilators also remained unchanged at 13.
Rising hospitalizations were among the concerns Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins cited in issuing an emergency order requiring customers to wear masks when entering businesses in the city.
That order went into effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The LDH updates the number of people who are presumed recovered from the coronavirus weekly. As of Tuesday, July 7, that number stood at 46,334. LDH Office of Public Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Alex Billioux pointed to those numbers Wednesday in noting that, with more than 70,000 confirmed cases to-date, there are at least 25,000 known active cases in the state.
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.
If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.