The United States has reported 941 additional fatalities from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing nationwide death toll to 113,774, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
So far, the New York state has recorded 30,580 fatalities from the disease, the largest death toll across the country, followed by the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts, with 12,443 and 7,492 deaths, respectively.
The United States has both the highest number of deaths and the largest caseload -- 2,022,488 cases at 10:16 pm Thursday (0216 GMT Friday), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at the university, leaving the world's largest economy the hardest hit by the pandemic in absolute terms.
The country continues to report about 20,000 new COVID-19 cases each day. Despite the high infection rate, the New York state is allowing cities and counties to open public pools and playgrounds at their discretion while following state guidance, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.
Local governments "have to use their judgment here," said Cuomo at his daily briefing. "Everybody wants to swim, I understand. Everybody doesn't want to see a spike in COVID again. Sometimes 'yes' is not the right answer."
Cuomo said local authorities need to track COVID-19 infections on a daily basis to guide their actions. "If the positives are in a cluster, a neighborhood that has that pool, don't open the pool," he said.
Five regions in the state are set to enter phase three of reopening on Friday, allowing indoor dining in restaurants and personal care services to resume.