SANTA FE, New Mexico -- Coronavirus infections in New Mexico rose by 248 on Wednesday to 12,520, led by Bernalillo (97) and Doña Ana (42) counties - which health officials said saw the highest number of additional cases.
Just a day earlier, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had stressed her concern about an increase in the rate of spread, particularly in the southeast area of the state near Texas and in the Albuquerque area.
With Thursday's 42 more cases, Doña Ana County's total was now just one shy of the 1,000 milestone at 999. Just across the Texas border, adjoining El Paso had 265 new cases Thursday, posting a greater increase than the entire state of New Mexico.
Included in those Doña Ana County totals were six student-athletes and a trainer at New Mexico State University who tested positive this week, prompting school officials to temporarily shut down a weight training center on campus.
“The last five or six days have been particularly steep,” New Mexico's Human Services Secretary David Scrase observed of the virus' spread in the state.
Three new deaths reported Thursday linked to the virus brought the statewide death toll to 503 since the outbreak of the virus pandemic in March.
Trying to rein in rising infection rates across the state, the governor a day earlier announced there would be more aggressive enforcement of the state’s face mask requirement, including $100 individual fines. She also re-started a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all out-of-state visitors.
Below you can see county-by-county data for virus cases and deaths across New Mexico. The data comes from Johns Hopkins University, so the numbers may sometimes vary a bit from what's reported by the state health department. (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)