ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s latest coronavirus surge shows no sign of slowing with 21 new COVID-19 fatalities recorded Monday, Oct. 4, and 3,546 new infections reported to the state Department of Health.

The latest fatalities ranged in age from their 40s to their 90s with fifteen residing in private homes and six in long-term care. All 21 of the deaths occurred in September.

There have been 8,191 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began including 4,645 in long-term care facilities. Another 103 deaths are suspected to have been caused by COVID-19, but the person never had a positive coronavirus test.

There are 819 patient hospitalized including 206 who are in critical condition. The last time hospitalizations topped 800 has in early January at the end of the state’s biggest surge.

The 3,546 new infections reported Monday were the result of 52,432 tests. The current, seven-day rolling average for test positivity is about 6.4%, which is higher than the 5% caution threshold health officials use to determine if the outbreak is under control.

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Minnesota’s weekly tally of new cases continues to grow, hitting 18,361 last week, up from 15,896 the week prior. Minnesota is diagnosing about 42 new infections per 100,000 residents each day.

Nearly all new cases in Minnesota and across the U.S. are caused by the more contagious delta variant. Health officials maintain that vaccination is the best way to avoid a severe infection.

Of the nearly 3.2 million fully vaccinated Minnesotans, about 99% have not reported a breakthrough infection. However, breakthrough cases have become more common with 32,796, or 1% of the fully vaccinated, reporting one as of Monday — of those 1,690 have needed hospitalization and 185 have died.

Health officials say nearly all of the severe infections in vaccinated residents are older people.

Minnesota has administered 6.4 million doses of vaccine with 3.4 million getting at least one dose. About 72% of eligible residents, those 12 and older, have gotten at least one shot.