The number of coronavirus deaths in New York state hit an all-time low Thursday since the beginning of the outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
The number of lives lost from the virus was 42, marking the lowest daily death toll in eight weeks, according to Cuomo. The state also reported lowest number of total hospitalizations to date.
In late May, coronavirus deaths in New York state fell below 100 for the first time since March 24. The number of daily deaths related to Covid-19 have been on a slow, steady decline from the height of the state's outbreak in late March and early April when close to 800 people were dying every day, according to state data.
The governor attributed the state's significant progress to New Yorkers who "changed their fundamental behaviors."
"Eight weeks ago we had 800. Eight weeks. 800 people dying to 42 people dying in eight weeks. Amazing. 'How did you do that?' I did nothing," Cuomo said.
"The people of the state radically changed how they behaved. Look at that progress. Lowest number of hospitalizations to date. In a matter of weeks. So we know we can change and we know we can change dramatically. People are focused. We have a plan and that's when social reform happens. When people are motivated and people are focused."
New York City is preparing to move into its "phase one" reopening next Monday. The city saw its first day without any confirmed deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday, according to new data from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the first time since March 11.
While the downward trend in Covid-19 infection rate in New York has shown a positive sign, Cuomo warned that mass protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis could threaten the state's progress containing the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor announced on Thursday that the state will expand its testing facilities to the thousands of people who participated in recent George Floyd protests. He said the demonstrations have drawn approximately 20,000 people in New York City alone and 30,000 statewide.
Meanwhile, there are seven regions in New York that have entered "phase two" reopening — the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York.