© NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at his Midtown Manhattan office, September 14, 2018 in New York City. Cuomo discussed his primary night election victory as well as a range of other topics. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York state saw its coronavirus death toll drop below 100 on Saturday for the first time in months.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and health officials announced Saturday that the hardest hit state in the country recorded 84 daily deaths tied to the coronavirus as of May 22, marking the first fall below 100 daily deaths since the pandemic began in March.

The governor noted this number is “still a tragedy, no doubt,” but said it showed massive improvement from the tens of thousands of total deaths recorded over the last two months.

Cuomo also said hospitalizations and new cases are down as of Saturday. Sixty two of the deaths occurred in hospitals and 22 were in nursing homes across the state.

The previous day, May 21, New York recorded 109 deaths, which reflects similar statistics from the previous week in which fatalities remained just above 100 each day.

Cuomo called it “overall good news” and said a top doctor recently told him that getting under 100 deaths each day would mean “you can breathe a sigh of relief.”

As of Friday, New York state had recorded 368,090 cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with those cases resulting in 29,858 total deaths.

In New York City alone, the health department has recorded 193,951 cases across March, April and early May, including 50,863 hospitalizations. NYC had 16,333 confirmed deaths tied to COVID-19 and 4,753 “probable deaths” linked to the virus.

“When the coronavirus takes a day off, we’ll take a day off,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his daily press briefing Saturday morning, noting it is day 84 of the pandemic.

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