The Defense Department recorded five additional deaths of service members from COVID-19 in the past week, the deadliest for the U.S. military of the pandemic. According to Pentagon data published Wednesday, 34 service members have now died of coronavirus infections, up from 29 a week ago. During the same time frame, the DoD recorded 4,156 new infections among U.S. troops, bringing the total for the pandemic to 222,138. The military services have not yet released the names of the deceased, and it is unclear whether all the deaths occurred in the past week or were the result of delayed reporting to the DoD from active-duty, Reserve or National Guard units. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 333,000 DoD beneficiaries have contracted COVID-19 and 409 have died, including the 34 service members, 17 family members, 267 civilian DoD employees and 91 contractors. Defense Department officials have urged personnel to get vaccinated against the virus but have stopped short of mandating the immunizations while they are distributed under an emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier this month that by Sept. 15 he planned to ask President Joe Biden to order troops to get vaccinated or would make it mandatory as soon as the FDA formally approves the vaccines' use, expected by the end of the month. The deaths come as the Delta variant of COVID-19 is striking some states particularly hard. U.S. Northern Command announced Wednesday that five teams of military medical personnel are preparing to mobilize to support medical care in affected regions, starting in Lafayette, Louisiana. At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a team of 20 military medical personnel, including nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors, will deploy to Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center to bolster hospital staff caring for COVID-19 patients.