Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a fourth region in the state can start to reopen on Friday, while also confirming over 22,000 New Yorkers have now died from COVID-19.

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Cuomo said there are now 102 cases of an inflammatory illness in children, which is believed to be linked to COVID-19. Three have died from the rare illness, ages 5, 7 and 18. Cuomo said all of the kids either tested positive for COVID-19 or COVID antibodies.

"Though rare, we have cases in children of all ages," he said. "This is a parent's worst nightmare."

He said if someone with COVID-19 was near your kid, you should watch out for symptoms of inflammatory disease.

Signs of Kawasaki disease include a rash on the palms and soles, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, swollen lymph nodes, and inflammation or red eyes.

He said 14 other states and five European countries have reported cases as well.

Cuomo conducted his COVID-19 briefing from Watertown, in the North Country, and announced the North Country is the fourth New York region which is allowed to reopen on Friday.

The North Country joins the Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions that have met all seven metrics needed to reopen.

The Capital Region and Central New York regions are one metric away. The Mid-Hudson, Long Island and Western New York regions meet five of the seven metrics. New York City meets four metrics.

"Our reopening process is totally transparent and based on data," Cuomo tweeted during his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. "Our decisions are based on science. Watch the measures. Watch the numbers. But the rate of transmission is based on the actions of all of us. You tell me what New Yorkers do today, and I'll tell you what the transmission rate wi ll be tomorrow."

He announced 166 New Yorkers died in the past 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 22,001.

"We lost 166 New Yorkers yesterday to COVID-19," he said. "It’s not just a number. These are people whose families are in immense pain today. We share in their heartbreak."

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