The decrease is small but significant: The number of coronavirus patients in ICU units in New York state dropped from 4,925 to 4,908 from Thursday to Friday. Though the figure of 17 isn't huge, it marks the first time the total has decreased since the outbreak began in the state, reports the New York Times. The newspaper notes that the number was rising by roughly 300 per day just last week. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement of the decrease on Friday came with bad news, too: Another 777 people died in that 24-hour span, reports the Daily News.
The total is down from Thursday's record of 799, though the figure has remained largely steady for several days now. “We continue to lose a great number of lives,” Cuomo said. But "the leveling off of the number of lives lost is a somewhat hopeful sign." Overall, he said, "we are cautiously optimistic" about flattening the curve. Also Friday, Cuomo said President Trump should use the Defense Production Act to increase testing for coronavirus antibodies in people. "Testing, testing, testing—that’s what New Yorkers need," he said. (Read more New York stories.)