Quality management specialist Paulina Chin works with COVID-19 tests at Northwell...

Quality management specialist Paulina Chin works with COVID-19 tests at Northwell Labs last week. Testing has reached record numbers in New York, the governor said. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

New Yorkers continue to fight back against the coronavirus, as the state registered a new low in hospitalizations even as it performed a record number of tests Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saturday.

Hospitalizations have dropped to 523, a new low since March 17. The governor also announced a record-high number of COVID-19 tests reported to New York State — 88,668. 

"In New York, we knew from the beginning that testing would be a key factor in controlling this new virus," Cuomo said. "Yesterday's numbers — especially the new low in hospitalizations — continue to reflect the progress we've made during this pandemic, but we will keep monitoring the data and the alarming increases in cases around the country."

A total of 76 people were admitted to hospitals, and the number of people in ICUs decreased by seven to 120, according to state figures. Five people died of COVID-19-related causes, bringing the total to 25,244.

Long Island reported no deaths for the day, and the Island's infection rate stood at 0.9%, a slight uptick from the day before.

Nassau County saw 51 new cases for a total of 43,891, according to state figures. Suffolk had 64 new cases for a total of 44,109.

Nassau tested 6,389 people for the virus in the past 24 hours, according to county figures.

"I am happy to report that of the 38 hospitalized COVID patients in our hospitals, 0 are on ventilators and it’s been a week since a coronavirus-related death in Nassau," said Nassau Executive Laura Curran.

In Suffolk, 1.0% of those tested in the last reported 24-hour period tested positive for COVID-19, according to county figures.

A total of 41 people were hospitalized, which was no change from the prior day. Seven patients were in ICU, an increase of one. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing on...

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing on July 23 in New York. Credit: Getty Images/Jeenah Moon

On Friday, Cuomo announced a series of initiatives aimed at improving the state's ability to detect and control the virus.

The state will launch a pilot program to detect the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater, designed to establish an early indicator system to forecast virus spread in communities. A total of $500,000 will support expanding initial wastewater sampling undertaken in Onondaga County and start sample collection in three additional communities: Albany, Newburgh and Buffalo.

"As New Yorkers remain vigilant in stopping the spread and our communities cautiously reopen, we continue to aggressively focus on testing in order to detect and control any new coronavirus outbreaks," Cuomo said. 

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