May 24 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced additional steps for the state to reopen, including allowing professional sports teams to hold training camps, as the state reported a slight increase of COVID-19 deaths.
During his daily briefing, Cuomo said the state -- which leads the nation in deaths and cases -- recorded 109 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, up from 84 fatalities the previous day for a total 23,391 confirmed deaths with probable deaths pushing the figure to 29,141. The state also recorded 1,589 new cases for a total of 361,515.
"Number of deaths ticked up, which is terrible news, but the overall line is still good. The 109 families that lost a loved one, they are in our prayers," said Cuomo.
At one time, the daily total was near 800 deaths.
Overall, the United States has reported 1,632,721 confirmed cases and 97,430 deaths, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University.
Cuomo on Sunday pushed ahead with plans to resume activities that had been restricted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by announcing professional sports leagues will be permitted to hold training camps in-state.
"We are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible and we'll work with them to make sure that can happen," Cuomo said, encouraging "sports that can come back without having people in the stadium" to do so.
Further, Cuomo said Long Island Rail Road trains will add more cares to create additional space for travelers, who will be required to wear masks during trips.
He also urged New Yorkers to "be smart" as state beaches have reopened and campgrounds are set to open on Monday, as the nation observes Memorial Day.
In neighboring New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state recorded 52 new deaths for a death toll of 11,138 and 1,065 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 154,154.
Appearing on CNN Sunday, Murphy warned that healthcare workers, firefighters police officers and teachers in the state may be laid off if New Jersey does not receive additional federal funding.
"We announced a budget on Friday for the next four months and we had to cut or defer over $5 billion of expenditures. And this includes potentially laying off educators, firefighters, police EMS, health care workers. This is not abstract. This is real. It's not a blue state issue. It's an American issue," said Murphy.
The $3 trillion HEROES Act passed by the House seeks to provide $875 billion for state and local governments but faces opposition from the Senate and President Donald Trump who has threatened to veto the measure.
"With the country starting to open up this holiday weekend, I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained. It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community. Social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask protects us all," he wrote on Twitter.