ST. LOUIS -St. Louis starts another week with COVID case counts still at extremely high levels. The new data from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force is giving little reason to think the omicron surge may let up anytime soon.

There are now a total of 1,418 patients hospitalized for COVID when combining confirmed and suspected cases. That’s up 23 from Saturday. The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations is now at 1,360. That is a new record high for the pandemic. 31 percent of COVID-positive patients now hospitalized are fully vaccinated. There are 216 COVID-positive patients in ICUs Monday morning. That is an increase of 12 compared to Saturday. There are also 130 COVID-positive patients on ventilators. That increased by nine since Saturday. 54 pediatric patients 18 or younger are hospitalized with COVID Monday morning. 12 of those children are in ICUs. 17 more COVID deaths were reported Sunday. 19 COVID deaths were reported in task force hospitals on Saturday.

There are a couple of signs of hope. New hospital admissions were down 16 Sunday versus Saturday at 216. Over the past two days, 400 COVID patients were discharged from area hospitals.

There is another place where you can get tested for COVID Monday. CareSTL is offering free drive-through COVID testing Monday at its facility located at 5471 Martin Luther King Drive. The testing there runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday afternoon.