New York can "breathe a sigh of relief" in the battle with COVID-19, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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On Saturday which Cuomo marked as "day 84" of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York State, he said hospitalizations, intubations and the number of new COVID hospitalizations continue to decline.

He announced 84 New York residents died on Friday from COVID-19. This marks the first time since March less than 100 Empire State residents died from the virus in one day. Over 23,200 Empire State residents have died from the virus.

"84 is still a tragedy, no doubt," Cuomo said during his briefing. "But the fact that it's down as low as it is really overall good news. "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."

Cuomo said he had a conversation with a healthcare worker about what number should he look for as a "bottom number on the deaths." The healthcare professional told him you want it to be below 100.

"If you can get under 100, I think you can breathe a sigh of relief," Cuomo said the doctor told him.

"I urge New Yorkers to continue to take precautions & do your part by wearing a mask in public, washing your hands often, and avoiding large gatherings," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the issue holding the region back is contact tracers. He said they have identified enough contact tracers who must be trained before the Hudson Valley can start to reopen.

The job of a contract tracer is to reach out to the contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 to assess symptoms, ensure compliance with quarantine and determine social support needs. The region is actively looking for more contract tracers.

He said he spoke with the county executives across the Hudson Valley and the contact tracers will be trained during Memorial Day Weekend which will allow the region to start Phase 1 on Tuesday.

Late Friday, in what some say is a "shocking" move, Cuomo updated an executive order which now allows New Yorkers to legally gather in small groups.

Region Moving Back From Reopening Tops This Week's Hudson Valley News

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