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COVID cases: Acadiana parishes showing significant increases

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jul 21, 2021

Today, the state health department reported 5,388 new cases of COVID-19 in Louisiana. That’s the third-highest number since the first Covid case was reported here on March 9, 2020.

The highest number of new cases ever reported was 5,783 which happened on January 3, 2021, followed by 5,398 on January 10, 2021. The fourth-highest was 5,326 on December 1, 2020 followed by 5,313 on January 14, 2021.

The first vaccinations in Louisiana were given to health care workers in December 2020.

The CDC looks at trends; the numbers show significant jumps in positive cases last week in Acadiana parishes. The highest was more than 100 percent in Vermilion. The lowest was in Iberia Parish, with a 23 percent increase.

Eight of the 10 parishes showed increases of more than 50 percent. None of those figures include today’s reported new cases; they’re based on figures reported as of Monday.

The CDC’s forecasting tool is predicting that the numbers will continue to climb in the coming weeks. Within three weeks, the tool predicts, Louisiana’s weekly cases will exceed the numbers we had in March.

The trend in hospital admissions was all over the place, with decreases in Jeff Davis and Evangeline; no change in four other parishes and an increase of 350 percent in Vermilion. Lafayette’s admissions number has increased 67 percent in the past 7 days; in Acadia it has jumped 90 percent.

Vaccination rates are not high. More than 70 percent of Louisiana’s population is over 18 and the vaccine is available to everyone 12 and older.

But according to state health department figures, only a little over 36 percent of Louisiana’s citizens have completed their vaccinations. Every single Acadiana Parish has a rate lower than that, ranging from a high of 34.25 in Lafayette to a low of 23.84 in Acadia.

The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health says that, generally, 50 to 90 percent of the population has to have immunity before infection rates start to drop.

“But this percentage isn't a “magic threshold” that we need to cross—especially for a novel virus,” the school’s website states. “Both viral evolution and changes in how people interact with each other can bring this number up or down. Below any “herd immunity threshold,” immunity in the population (for example, from vaccination) can still have a positive effect. And above the threshold, infections can still occur. The higher the level of immunity, the larger the benefit. This is why it is important to get as many people as possible vaccinated.”

Here are the figures:

Completed Vaccination Rates (percent; all age groups)
Louisiana: 36.2
Region 4: 30.74
Acadia: 23.84
Calcasieu: 28.06
Evangeline: 29.26
Iberia: 29.19
Jeff Davis: 25.87
Lafayette: 34.25
St. Landry: 32.39
St. Martin: 29.18
St. Mary: 29.72
Vermilion: 25.69

Roughly 73 percent of Louisiana's population is 18 years of age or older; the vaccine is available to all people age 12 and older.

Here are the Percent increase in cases and hospital admissions by parish last 7 days, July 13 through July 19, according to CDC:
Acadia: 90 percent cases, no change admissions
Calcasieu: 58 percent cases, no change admissions
Evangeline: 60 percent cases, zero admissions
Iberia: 23 percent cases, 40 percent admissions
Jeff Davis: 86 percent cases, admissions down
Lafayette: 67 percent cases 68 percent admissions
St. Landry: 97 percent cases, no change admissions
St. Martin: 47 percent cases, no change admissions
St. Mary: 92 percent cases, 21 percent admissions
Vermilion: 102 percent cases, 350 percent admissions

According to the CDC:
Louisiana's top five days of "new cases" numbers:
Jan 3 2021 5,783
Jan 10 2021 5,398
July 21, 2021 5388
Dec 1 2020 5,326
Jan 14 2021 5,313