ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is moving faster than expected, allowing him to loosen some restrictions on gatherings in houses of worship.

The governor announced Saturday that religious buildings will be allowed to operate with 25% of their usual capacity once the region of the state they are in reaches phase two of his reopening plan.

All of the state, except for New York City, has already reached that phase.

COVID-19 killed 35 people in the state Friday, down from a peak of more than 700 per day in April.