Initial testing finds coronavirus antibodies in 21.2% of New York City’s populace

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Cuomo said the people who were given the antibody tests "are people who were out and about shopping", which may have skewed the results.

"I want to see snapshots of what is happening with that rate - is it going up, is it flat, is it going down", Cuomo told a daily briefing.

The hope is that people who have had COVID-19 may be immune to it. Data from animal studies suggest that COVID-19 antibodies may grant at least partial, short-term immunity.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will fund a plan to help develop and implement a regional contact tracing program in the effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in hard-hit New York and neighboring states. Bloomberg Philanthropies also will work with NY state to establish an expert panel to review the work of the program and create a model that other states can use for contact tracing, according to a statement from Cuomo's office. No, you send one mask to NY to help a nurse or a doctor. Many more people will be tested in the days to come, but the early returns of the study indicate that the actual number of viral infections is appreciably higher.

The tests showed 13.9% overall had them, which would translate to possibly 2.7 million people in the state. However, he recently extended the state's lockdown until mid-May and cautioned against permitting anyone to go back to work without widespread testing. This data is preliminary and is only a sample of 3,000 people.

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While noting the small sample size of 3,000 people and other limitations of the survey, Cuomo said the implied fatality rate of 0.5% of those infected was lower than some experts feared. In New York City, around 21% of randomly sampled people had antibodies against the coronavirus; on Long Island, about 16.7% had antibodies; in Westchester and Rockland around 11.7% had antibodies; and in the rest of the state 3.6% had antibodies, Cuomo said.

There were more than 15,000 people hospitalised statewide, continuing a slow decline. You send one mask to NY for a doctor or nurse.

Many other such studies are under way. The first patients were reported in China late past year and autopsies in California of two people who died at home in February showed they tested positive for COVID-19. Both studies attracted criticism for their methodologies.

In the Boston suburb of Chelsea, that percentage was even higher than NY, with 64 out of 200 randomly sampled residents having antibodies.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 25% of people may be asymptomatic for the disease.

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