New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday officials are "cautiously optimistic" that the infection rate is slowing in the state. Cuomo said "we are flattening the curve" and must continue to do so.
The three-day average of hospitalizations has seen a dramatic decline in numbers, Cuomo said, adding that the change in ICU admissions is a negative number for the first time since the pandemic started. He said the curve the state is seeing is much lower than what was projected.
"The bad news is we continue to lose a tremendous number of lives," he said. "I understand, intellectually, why it's happening. It doesn't make it any easier to accept."
There were 777 deaths in New York on Thursday, a slight dip from Wednesday's toll, Cuomo said. That brings the total death toll in the state to more than 7,800.
He urged New Yorkers to keep doing what they've been doing and stay home, "because that works."
"We are in total control of our destiny here," he said. "What we do will affect literally life and death for hundreds of people."
He said the key to reopening will be testing – diagnostic testing and antibody testing to determine who has the virus and who has already had it.