Cuomo says thousands will be tested for Covid-19 antibodies


A health worker draws blood from a patient for an antibody test for Covid-19 | perform Omar Marques / Getty Images

New York will test thousands of residents for Covid-19 antibodies this week as the state tries to reopen the economy in the coming weeks and months, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday.

With data suggesting that the coronavirus peaked in New York, Cuomo said that in addition to the diagnostic tests for the virus, health officials were testing the first 2,000 antibody tests a day – or 14,000 a week – on a random sample of New Yorkers will perform.

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However, these efforts, which he called “the most aggressive nationwide antibody testing survey in the nation,” are still not enough to screen the 9 million state workers and 19 million residents for Covid-19 – an integral part of any reopening strategy, Cuomo noticed.

“Any plan to reopen the economy has to be based on data, and that means it has to be based on testing,” he said during an afternoon press conference in Manhasset. “You have all these scientists and all those experts who are basically trying to extrapolate from the data, but we don’t really know how many people were infected – how many people had coronavirus, but had it resolved?”

“We don’t really know because we haven’t been able to run tests on such a large scale, but we will start and we will start antibody testing here in New York State.”

The results of the tests, Cuomo said, will “provide the first real snapshot of what we’re really dealing with” regarding the Covid 19 exposure in New York.

More than 617,000 New Yorkers were tested on Covid-19 at midnight on Saturday, of which 242,786 were positive for the virus, state health officials reported. Nearly 14,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the state.

The governor reiterated his request to the federal government to work with New York and other states to solve the logistical and supply chain problems that hamper their ability to improve testing capacity.

“The states must do their part and the federal government must do their part,” said Cuomo when asked about President Donald Trump’s Twitter claim that his administration will support governors, but they must “be able to speed up and get the job done”. “Perfect, that’s called partnership, I agree,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo added that it is important that the federal government pass laws to help state and local governments respond to the pandemic. Otherwise, there may be far-reaching cuts in hospitals and schools.

“If you don’t help the state government and local governments, how should we have the finances to reopen?” he said.

Cuomo on Friday Laboratories run across the state Coordination with the Ministry of Health to ensure the prioritization of coronavirus-related diagnostic and antibody tests.

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