ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Kathy Hochul is paying tribute to the 1 million lives lost to COVID-19 around the country. The governor is directing flags on all state buildings to be at half-staff on Friday, May 13 in remembrance of those who have died from COVID.

Hochul said that despite the progress that has been made during the pandemic, New Yorkers should remain vigilant.

“Today, our country marks an unthinkable milestone – one million lives lost due to COVID-19,” she said. “This tragic milestone serves as a reminder that despite our progress we must remain vigilant in the face of this pandemic. These were mothers, fathers, children, siblings, friends and neighbors and I don’t want any more New Yorkers to go through the pain of losing a loved one to this awful virus, which is why it’s so important to keep using the tools that keep us safe: get vaccinated, test regularly, and talk to your doctor about treatment if you’re feeling sick.”

In pre-taped remarks Thursday, Pres. Biden expressed grief over the loss of life. His administration is still asking Congress to approve $22.5 billion in new COVID funding.

Of that money, $5 billion will go toward continuing to combat COVID across the globe. The rest of the money would be used to boost the stockpile of tests, vaccines and treatments in the U.S. as the majority of states around the country are currently reporting an uptick in COVID cases, with some areas also seeing more hospitalizations.