With nine of its 10 regions either having started or been approved for Phase 1 reopenings, New York reported its lowest daily number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in two months.
A total of 84 people in the state died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. That's the lowest daily total since Tuesday, March 24. Of the 84 deaths, 62 were in hospitals, 22 in nursing homes.
"84 is still a tragedy no doubt," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily COVID-19 news briefing held Saturday, May 23 in Albany. "But the fact that it's down as low as it is really overall good news."
The highest daily total in the state during the pandemic was 799 on Tuesday, April 7. A total of 23,279 people have died so far statewide from the virus.
"I had a conversation with a healthcare professional," Cuomo said, "and I said what number should I be looking for to get down as a bottom number on the deaths? The doctor said, it wasn't our health commissioner, he said, 'If I were you, I would look for 100. You want to be below 100.'
"I said why 100? He said 'Well, people will pass away when they're ill and often its pneumonia or it's something else. But if you can get under 100, I think you can breathe a sigh of relief.'
"When he said this to me, we were in the hundreds and hundreds and getting below 100 was almost impossible. But I made a little note. You need something in life to shoot for. You need something to aim for.
"It's not official. I don't even know if it was 100 percent accurate. But in my head I was always looking to get under 100.
"And under 100 doesn't do any good for those 84 families that are feeling the pain. But for me, it's just a sign that we're making real progress and I feel good about that."
There were 1,772 new COVID cases in New York, bringing the statewide total to 359,926 confirmed cases.
New Yorkers can vote in the state's Wear a Mask New York Ad Contest, which was launched earlier this month and is being overseen by his Cuomo's daughter, Mariah Kennedy Cuomo.
Online voting for the winning ad is open until Monday, May 25th at WearAMask.ny.gov. The winning ad will be announced on Tuesday, May 26, and that ad will be used as a public service announcement.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.