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With 42 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, New York recorded the lowest number of daily deaths since the pandemic hit the state, the epicentre of the disease outbreak in the US, said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"While our hearts ache for those families who lost loved ones yesterday, just eight weeks ago, we had 800 deaths per day," Xinhua news agency quoted Cuomo as saying at his daily briefing on Friday.
Meanwhile, the number of total hospitalizations was down on Thursday to 2,728 from a record-high of 18,825 during the peak of the pandemic.
The Governor said the progress is made through people's change of behaviour.
"Today's achievement is proof we know we can change, and we know we can change dramatically when we work together," he said.
The state is now encouraging people who attended the recent protests against the death of African-American man, George Floyd to receive COVID-19 diagnostic tests to avoid a resurgence of infections.
"One person can infect hundreds. If you were at a protest, go get a test, please. The protesters have a civic duty here also," Cuomo said.
Around 20,000 participants in the protests in New York City and some 30,000 across the state.
The state now allows schools to hold drive-in and drive-through graduation ceremonies this year, and will re-examine socially-distanced outdoor commencements at a later time, the Governor has said.
Nine of the 10 regions in the state have started the reopening process, with seven of them already in phase two.
Mid-Hudson Valley is on track to enter phase two on June 9th and Long Island will follow on June 10.
The state of New York has reported 376,000 COVID-19 cases with 24,175 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
New York City, which is scheduled to enter phase one of reopening on Monday, has seen registered 206,000 cases, with 16,877 deaths.