Andrew Cuomo: 13.9% of New Yorkers Tested Positive for Coronavirus Antibodies; 21% in NYC

CHESSINGTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 30: A nurse takes a swab at a Covid-19 Drive-Through testing station for NHS staff on March 30, 2020 in Chessington, United Kingdom. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 30,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. …
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) detailed at his press briefing on Thursday that the preliminary results of a statewide antibody study revealed that 13.9 percent of New Yorkers across the state have developed antibodies to the coronavirus, with more than 21 percent testing positive in New York City alone.

Cuomo said the survey was conducted among 3,000 individuals over two days, spanning 19 counties and 40 localities. The samples were collected at grocery stores and other box stores, he said, emphasizing that they were testing people “out of the home and not at work.”

“These were people who were out and about shopping. They were not people who were in their home. They are not people who were isolated. They are not people who are quarantined. … These are people who were not at work, so they are probably not essential workers,” he said, adding that the information “has to be calibrated.”

The preliminary results found that 13.9 percent across the state had developed antibodies.

A regional look shows that 21.2 percent in New York City specifically tested positive for developing antibodies, while 16.7 percent tested positive in Long Island, 11.7 percent tested positive in Westchester/Rockland, and 3.6 percent tested positive in the rest of the state:

“What does that mean? It means these are people who were infected and who developed the antibodies to fight the infection, so they had the — they were infected three weeks ago right?” he explained.

“Four weeks ago, five weeks ago, six weeks ago, but they had the virus, they developed the antibodies, and they are now recovered,” he added.

If the preliminary results hold steady, it could significantly change the theories on the virus’s death rate.

He said:

If the infection rate is 13.9 percent, then it changes the theories of what the death rate is if you get infected. Thirteen percent of the population is about 2.7 million people who have been infected. If you look at what we have now as a death total, which is 15,500, that would be about a 0.5 percent death rate.

Nonetheless, Cuomo stressed two big caveats, reminding the public that these are preliminary results and warning that the total number of coronavirus related deaths will go up, as the current number only includes hospitalization and nursing home deaths — not at-home deaths.

Cuomo suggested that the preliminary results support a regional approach to reopening the state.

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