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 several months.
It was the latest sign that the rapidly spreading delta variant appears to have taken hold in New Mexico.
On Wednesday, Dr. David Scrase, the state’s top health official, estimated that the delta variant now accounts for 75 percent of new cases statewide.
On Thursday, Gov. Michelle 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.
“More New Mexicans and certainly the people that we’re inviting to visit New Mexico need to be in a position where they are fully vaccinated,” Lujan Grisham said Thursday at a news conference. “Otherwise, not only will the delta variant continue to be a problem for this state, this country and the world, but [there will be] the opportunity for this incredibly vicious virus to yet mutate again.”
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. As of Thursday, New Mexico’s cumulative case total was 210,085.
The state also reported a Bernalillo County man in his 80s died of COVID-19, bringing the statewide toll to 4,408.
Hospitalizations also rose, from 133 on Wednesday to 140 on Thursday, the state said.