Minnesota recorded 25 more COVID-19 fatalities Monday, and another 3,223 more coronavirus infections were reported by the state Department of Health.
The latest deaths ranged in age from their late 30s to their late 90s, with 18 having resided in private homes and seven in long-term care. Four of the deaths occurred in September and 21 in October.
The pandemic death toll is 8,320, with 4,678 fatalities in long-term care. Another 113 fatalities are suspected to have been caused by the virus.
Deaths are not reported in a uniform way, but the rate of fatalities reported in the state is on the rise with more than a dozen being reported a day, up from about seven a day a month ago.
The highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling the surge, which has abated in other states that were hit much harder starting in July.
Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid severe infections, with more than 98 percent of the 3.2 million Minnesotans not reporting “breakthrough” infections.
However, breakthrough cases have been on the rise, with 38,808 infections reported, or about 1.2 percent, of fully vaccinated Minnesotans. Of those who reported breakthrough infections, 1,934 have been hospitalized and 234 have died — both a fraction of a percentage point of the fully vaccinated.
The 3,223 new infections reported Monday were the result of about 46,000 tests, for a positivity rate of about 7 percent. The seven-day rolling average for test positivity is about 7.2 percent, well above the 5 percent caution threshold used to determine if the pandemic is under control.
School-age children remain the group with the most new infections, but the rate of new cases is now again on the rise in middle-age Minnesotans.
There are now 915 patients hospitalized, including 241 in critical condition. That’s the most patients needing care for COVID-19 this year, and hospital beds remain in short supply across much of the state, with just 43 intensive care beds open statewide.
There have been 738,843 coronavirus infections diagnosed since the pandemic began, or about 13 percent of the state’s 5.8 million residents. Of those, 705,936, or 96 percent, have recovered enough they no longer need to be isolated.
Minnesota has administered more than 6.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine and 3.4 million people have gotten at least one dose. About 73 percent of those who are eligible, age 12 and older, have gotten at least one shot.