New Mexico health officials' daily COVID-19 report had more grim numbers Thursday: 23 additional deaths, 1,790 newly confirmed virus cases and 599 hospitalizations.

The count pushed the state's total caseload since March 2020 past the 300,000 mark.

The rising toll from this fall's surging delta variant included the recent deaths of two Santa Fe County men, one in his 40s and one in his 70s, the Department of Health reported.

Two men from Taos County, in their 70s and 80s, also died.

San Juan County had four new deaths, while Bernalillo, Otero, Sandoval and Valencia counties had two. Lincoln had one new death and one from more than a month ago. Other deaths were in Colfax, Doña Ana, Mora, McKinley and Quay counties.

The state's death toll from COVID-19 is now 5,238. In Santa Fe County, 177 residents have died from the illness.

Bernalillo, Doña Ana and San Juan counties led the state Thursday with triple-digit case counts of 469, 305 and 254, respectively. Santa Fe County had 65 new cases.

Department of Health data shows 73.8 percent of adults in the state have completed the initial series of COVID-19 vaccines and 18 percent have had a booster shot. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday the state might change its definition of "fully vaccinated" to three shots rather than two.

The data shows 55.2 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 are vaccinated, and 8 percent of children ages 5 to 11 have had their first shot.

(1) comment

Mike Johnson

Alternate headline: "COVID cases in New Mexico higher today than before vaccines existed."

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