New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday the state's single-day death toll from the coronavirus fell below 100, for the first time in weeks. Eighty four people died from the coronavirus in New York on Friday, he said, down from 109 the day before.
"Eighty-four is still a tragedy, no doubt," he said. "But the fact that it's down as low as it is is really, overall, good news."
At its height, the single-day COVID-19 death toll in New York was close to 800 for several days in a row in April.
New York City, the epicenter of the state's outbreak, hit its peak number of deaths on April 7, when 590 people died in one day.
Death and hospitalizations in the city have consistently fallen since then. The city reported 26 deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday, its most recent public data.
We lost 84 New Yorkers to COVID-19 yesterday. By any normal standard this is a hideous number. But we are thankful this number has fallen below 100 for the first time since late March.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 23, 2020
Cuomo said Saturday that the Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions, which border New York City, are still on track to begin reopening early next week. If deaths continue to decline, Mid-Hudson could reopen on Tuesday and Long Island by Wednesday.
The governor cautioned residents to remain vigilant by wearing masks and practicing social distancing as regions begin to reopen.
"Don't underestimate this virus. We know it can rear its ugly head at any time," he said Saturday.
Cuomo held his daily briefing hours after issuing an executive order that allows small non-essential gatherings. The order, which was issued in time for Memorial Day weekend, allows any "non-essential gathering of ten or fewer individuals, for any lawful purpose or reason," CBS New York reported.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, 28,853 people have died from the coronavirus in New York state since the pandemic started, and over 63,000 people have recovered after contracting the virus. New York has had the most deaths of any state; followed by New Jersey, where 10,985 people have died.
The United States as a whole has had the most deaths of any country by far, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. In total, 96,125 people have died from the virus nationwide, followed by 36,475 in the United Kingdom.