The New Mexico Department of Health reported 401 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday, the most infections the state has seen in a single day in five months.

It was the latest sign that the rapidly spreading delta variant appears to have taken hold in New Mexico.

“Our cases have quadrupled in a few short weeks because [of] the delta variant,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Thursday at a news conference. “That is a very troubling statistic.”

The governor said she will do “whatever it takes again” to keep New Mexicans safe, including students in school.

“I don’t expect that New Mexico is going to have to limit access to any business or services,” she said. “That is our goal. That is my belief that we won’t be there. That’s why the vaccination rates are so critical to continue moving up even as good as we are. We have to be faster at getting it done.”

On Thursday, Lujan Grisham signed an executive order requiring state workers to get vaccinated. Those who aren’t inoculated will have to take a coronavirus test at least once every two weeks.

To spur more vaccinations, the state will offer a $100 incentive to anyone who receives a dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine in August. The cash incentive kicks off Monday.

The state also announced four more residents had won $250,000 apiece by getting vaccinated in the Vax 2 the Max sweepstakes. The winners were Trinnie Martinez of Española, Roslyn Pursley of Albuquerque, Rita Plattor of Artesia and Cheri Hamilton of Las Cruces.

Bernalillo County had the most infections Thursday with 96, followed by San Juan County with 51, Eddy County with 45, Lea County with 30, Sandoval County with 28, Doña Ana County with 25 and Chaves County with 23.

In Northern New Mexico, Santa Fe County added 12 cases, Rio Arriba County reported five and Los Alamos County had one.

Thursday’s case count was the state’s largest since Feb. 26, when it reported 659 additional infections. New Mexico’s cumulative total now stands at 210,085 cases.

The state also reported a Bernalillo County man in his 80s died of COVID-19, bringing the statewide toll to 4,408.

Hospitalizations rose as well, from 133 on Wednesday to 140 on Thursday, the state said.

(13) comments

Russell Scanlon

Oh yeah it’s all a plot by “big gummint” to destroy business, close the churches, and take your guns.

Is it just me or are people getting more ignorant?

Mike Johnson

Big deal, all politics....

Al Chavez

Your story is dated July 26. A lot has happened in one week. No, this isn't November 2020. But tell that to the INCREASING number of folks catching the Delta variant and the people dying from it who didn't have to die had they been vaccinated.

Marlene Barnes

I am vehemently opposed to paying people to get the COVID-19 vaccination by giving anyone who receives the shot in August $100. This is an outrage to every New Mexican taxpayer and sends a terrible message: "Cooperate, do everything you can to end the Pandemic and get a big smile a thank-you. Or, do what you please, disregard every plea for safeguarding the safety of yourself and others, and get a $100. bribe!"

Russell Scanlon

Unfortunately a fairly large group of mostly conservative people think that this is all a hoax. So the $100 “bribe” may work to change their calcified minds.

Dottie Butler

I've read that this delta variant is more contagious than chickenpox and the common cold. There's still debate about how deadly it is because so many more young people are now getting the virus. Even fully vaccinated people can spread the virus even if they're asymptomatic.

It looks to me like the coming wave could be much bigger than last winter's.

I do believe we're all going to need a booster shot in the coming months.

Nancy Lockland

There is no such thing as asymptomatic. You obviously didn't read Dr. Fauci's leaked emails.

mark Coble

Survival rates by age and condition? Why did CDC drop PCR tests? Don't ask! Obey! Any questions will be censored or ignored?

Khal Spencer

Question is, do we need a booster shot for the Delta virus? If so, when?

Margaret Eyler

I believe the odds of a fully vaccinated person dying of Covid (delta variant) is still something like 1 in 27,000

Stefanie Beninato

Probably, Margaret, but you are overlooking the fact that even a mild case can have long term debilitating consequences (brain fog, neurological damage, extreme fatigue, loss of taste and smell etc) So tired of the anti-vaxxers rants about the CDC trying to control our lives. They are there to help stop the spread of disease and to try to come up with ways to prevent certain diseases.

mark Coble

I disagree. "They" are here to keep the panic and fear in the front. Why do "they" not speak of herd immunity anymore? Why, if experimental shot is so successful, are "they" now imposing masks for those supposed immune folks? That says shot does not work if it does not impart immunity. My issue is that IF the facts on covid cases, survival rates specifically, were published in SFNM we would see the lockdowns, filthy face diapers for kids, killing small busineesses, etc, was not worth the small risk to healthy folks. Why not quarantine grandma instead of locking down society? Oh, right, because one goal was to kill small businesses. It worked. Another goal, dumb down the kids, that worked. Another goal, keep people confused and anxious....that certainly worked! Remember 14 days to flatten the curve? 100 days of masking? You can't get covid if you get the shot? ALL I said at the time. Not anti vax....anti experimental shot with NO long term testing. Anti "no liability" for big pharma. BTW, who profited from covid? DON'T ask.

Al Chavez

Margaret, just know that the risk doesn't end when a vaccinated person catches the variant. They are then contagious and someone they interact with—like an unvaccinated person—can catch it from them. People seem to forget that even if they beat the virus with a light case, someone down the road can catch it because they passed it along......and die.

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.