NEW YORK -- New York state now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country in the world outside of the United States.
As of Thursday, the state confirmed nearly160,000 COVID-19 cases, a jump of more than 10,000 new cases in a single day.
New York now surpasses Spain, which has nearly 152,000 confirmed cases.
The state also reported a record number of deaths for a third consecutive day with 799, raising the outbreak total above 7,000.
Despite the worsening toll, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York City's hospitals have so far stood up under the enormous strain. In fact, the increase in hospitalizations is down from the unsustainable pace of last week, as are intensive care admissions. More than 18,000 patients were hospitalized in the state.
"Today we can say that we have lost many of our brothers and sisters, but we haven't lost anyone because they couldn't get the right and best health care that they could," Cuomo said.
The rising daily deaths in the past few days reflect people hospitalized earlier in the outbreak.
Overall, the state is finally showing progress in slowing transmission, the governor said at a state Capitol news briefing.
"We're flattening the curve so far," he said. Cuomo has been navigating the cross-currents of hopeful and horrible news in recent days. Deaths are spiking, yet new hospitalizations are slowing. Light is at the end of the tunnel, but New Yorkers absolutely must not end their weeks of isolation just yet, he said.
"It is good news. 'Well, now I can relax,' No, you can't relax," he cautioned. "The flattening of the curve last night happened because of what we did yesterday and the day before and the day before that."
Worldwide, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has climbed to nearly 1.5 million, with nearly 90,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are much higher, because of limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and the efforts of some governments to conceal the extent of their outbreaks.
For most, the virus causes mild to moderate symptoms like fever and cough. But for some older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and death. Almost 330,000 people have recovered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.