Gov. Lujan Grisham addresses surge in COVID cases and ‘tough decisions’ for NM

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – With 1,000 new COVID cases over the weekend, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham addressed the uptick and upcoming fall events for Albuquerque.

“Our cases have quadrupled in a few short weeks because of the Delta variant. That is a very troubling statistic,” Lujan Grisham said. “Expect that there will be any number of tough decisions potentially on the table.”

Fall events like the New Mexico State Fair and the Balloon Fiesta rise many questions. In a statement, a spokesperson for the governor said:

"Employers and event organizers alike are urged to review and implement applicable COVID-safe practices. Additionally, we encourage New Mexico’s private sector and other large employers to consider measures similar to the state’s vaccine policy for employees."

The state fair was canceled last year and for now it’s moving forward, a spokesperson said:

"We will continue to abide by all active public health orders to ensure the safety of all our guests."

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was also canceled last year, but this October balloons will take to the skies and thousands will be welcomed to the field.

Organizers said those who aren’t vaccinated will be asked to wear a mask and said they want people to be vaccinated or get tested before coming.

In a statement, Roger Ebner, director of the City of Albuquerque’s Office of Emergency Management said:

“Today, the City re-instituted a mask requirement at all indoor facilities regardless of vaccination status, which is regionally consistent with Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, UNM and APS. We offer paid time off for vaccinations and testing, and work to make vaccinations as easy to get as possible with mobile clinics.”

As far as the governor’s tough decisions:

"Because of the spread rate of Delta I’m two weeks behind in that ability to reach forward and make decisions. I don’t know what those are, but I will do whatever it takes again to keep New Mexico safe,” Lujan Grisham said.

Last week, the governor said that she doesn’t expect that New Mexico will limit access to businesses or services, and everything is on the table.

The state will continue to monitor new cases and vaccination data.