July 6 (UPI) -- New COVID-19 cases have declined in New York since the state first launched its economic reopening plan, which entered the third stage Monday, marking a sharp contrast to many other areas.
At a news conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed the success of New York's phased approach, noting that the number of new cases is "actually down from where we were when we started reopening."
"The question was, when you start reopening, activity will go up, number of cases will go up, can you control the increase?" he said to reporters.
"We haven't needed to control the increase, we've actually had a slight decline, and now we're basically running flat. And that is great news. That is really great news."
New York reported just nine deaths Sunday and 817 were hospitalized -- the lowest level of seriously ill patients since early in the outbreak, Cuomo said.
New York's third stage began Monday and allowed personal care services like nail salons, tanning, tattooing, piercing and waxing businesses to reopen, with distancing. Outdoor recreational areas including basketball, tennis and volleyball courts were also allowed.
New York's declining numbers, however, are a stark contrast with the United States, which saw a daily increase of almost 50,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
New U.S. cases totaled 49,200, according to Johns Hopkins University -- the fourth of the last five days to see at least 45,000 new infections. The single-day record, about 54,000, came last Thursday.
By mid-day Monday, the U.S. death toll was at 130,000 and the total caseload almost 2.9 million, according to the university figures.
Several states reported record daily increases over the holiday weekend, including California, which logged almost 12,000 on Sunday -- the most ever for a single day.
In Florida, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Monday ordered many local businesses to reclose as health officials reported more than 6,300 additional cases. The closures are effective Wednesday and include ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms, fitness centers and short-term rentals.
Indoor dining at restaurants is not allowed, but takeout is permitted.
"We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives," Gimenez said in a statement.
"We can tamp down the spread if everyone follows the rules, wears masks and stays at least six feet apart from others. I am counting on you, our 2.8 million residents, to stop the spread so that we can get back to opening our economy."
COVID-19 pandemic alters life in New York City
Pianist Kaliya Kalcheva performs on a Steinway & Sons piano in Grand Central Terminal in New York City on June 23 and New York City enters a new phase of reopening. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo