Avoyelles Friday COVID report: 142 tests, 24 cases, 1 death

Some may recall a comment during the early spike of COVID-19 that "if we stop testing, the number of COVID cases will stop rising."

The fact is, of course, that administering COVID tests does not CAUSE the disease, it only detects it so the victim can take appropriate action to treat the illness and avoid spreading it. Another fact is that, usually, with fewer tests there will be fewer new cases reported in a community's daily update.

Avoyelles Parish had only 142 test results in Friday's report from the Louisiana Department of Health with what currently passes as a "good" report with "only" 24 new cases. The update reported one additional COVID-related death. That is compared to Thursday's update of 735 results and 73 new cases. It may be too early to call it a trend, but the up and down pattern was also present in Wednesday (198 tests, 48 cases) and Tuesday (889 tests, 88 cases) LDH reports.

Although there were more than twice as many molecular tests in Friday's update, the number of new cases was evenly split between the more detailed molecular tests and the rapid result antigen tests. There were 100 molecular tests with 12 positives (a one-day snapshot rate of 12 percent) and 42 antigen tests with a dozen positives (a positive rate of 28.5 percent).

The Health Department categorizes antigen results as "probable" for COVID due to the possibility of false positives. That, plus the fact that antigen tests are usually only given to people who have at least one symptom of COVID or have had close contact with a COVID-positive individual, usually results in significantly higher positive rates among the antigen test results. LDH does not use antigen results when determining a community's weekly positivity rate.

As of Friday, Avoyelles' 10-month pandemic totals were 2,954 cases (2,674 "confirmed" and 280 "probable") and 95 deaths (90/5).

The state's pandemic totals since March were 341,431 cases (306,442/34,989) and 7,833 deaths (7,411/422).

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