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New daily coronavirus cases in New York are now lower than at the beginning of the outbreak, Gov. Cuomo says

The daily number of new Covid-19 infections in New York has dropped below the case counts when the state first began fighting its outbreak nearly three months ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. 

New York, which has slowly started to open regions of the state in the last week, reported 225 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, based on a three-day rolling average, which is at a "level now that is lower than we first began," Cuomo said at his daily press briefing.  

While only a single daily figure, the number of new infections has been on a steady decline across the state, which at its peak reported more than 3,100 new cases daily. Cuomo said that while cases have been declining, the way down has been slower than what officials hoped. 

Cuomo said 109 people died Thursday from Covid-19, which is still painfully high but also slowly declining. Close to 800 people were dying every day at the height of the state's outbreak in late March and early April, according to state data. 

"This number has been stubborn on its way down," Cuomo said. "You see how quick that spike went up and you see how slow it is to come down. So we want to make sure we don't go back there ever, ever again." 

The number of total hospitalizations and the net change in intubations also posted daily declines, he said. The state now has more than 750 testing locations and is testing more people per capita than any other state in the country, according to Cuomo. 

"Our message is very simple: Get a test. We have state-run sites where we have more capacity than we're now performing tests," he said. 

New York has started to deploy its phased reopening plan in regions of the state that have met seven health criteria, including declining hospitalizations and new cases, as well as sufficient hospital bed and testing capacity, among other requirements. 

So far, seven of the state's 10 regions have been allowed to move into phase one reopening, which permits curbside pickup and in-store drop off at retail stores and the resumption of manufacturing and construction jobs. 

Cuomo said the Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions, which have yet to reach the seven required metrics, could begin reopening next week if deaths continue to decrease and sufficient contact tracing is implemented. 

New York City has met only four of the seven required metrics. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that the city has made "remarkable progress" to begin its phased reopening in the first half of June.