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The state of New York will start conducting antibody tests to explore the ways many New Yorkers were infected by the novel virus, said Governor Andrew Cuomo, reports the New York Post.
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New York to start coronavirus antibody testing
New York will begin with a sample of 3,000 residents who will receive tests from the state's Department of Health to detect the presence of antibodies produced within bodies infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, said Cuomo, according to the Post.
Check out the clip of his announcement from QuickTake by Bloomberg, below.
This comes on the heels of Germany — with a population of 83 million compared to 19.5 million in New York — using an identical sample size for its earlier antibody testing survey.
"This will be the first true snapshot of exactly how many people were infected by COVID-19," said the governor in a statement, reports the Post. Cuomo added that the testing "will help us reopen and rebuild without jeopardizing what we've already accomplished."
It's both interesting and apt to note that coronavirus antibodies in no way prove immunity, according to the World Health Organization, reports the BBC.
UPDATE April 20, 2:15 PM EDT: New York coordinates with federal government, private labs, allows remote marriage
Governor Cuomo also said that New York will also continue collaborating with the federal government to help with the supply chain, in addition to coordinating with private labs to scale up diagnostic testing, a key factor in jump-starting the economy back into action, according to the New York state website.
According to Cuomo's statement, New York is ready to transport 400 ventilators to Massachusetts in less than 24 hours, if and when they're needed.
Cuomo will also sign an Executive Order granting permission for authorized officials to perform marriage ceremonies using online video services. On Sunday, he issued an Executive Order permitting New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely, while also allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via video conferencing technology — a practice banned under current law.
"Any plan to start to reopen the economy has to be based on data and testing, and we have to make sure our antibody and diagnostic testing is up to the scale we need so we can safely get people back to work," said Cuomo. "We are going to start antibody testing across the state [on Monday] — and we are going to do that in the most aggressive way in the nation."
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