Public health officials in NY have released the results of statewide testing.
I think most of us have stories by now of how this virus bringing out the worst in a lot of people.
World's Catherine Kobayashi reports.
Andrew Cuomo's daily coronavirus press briefings have become a must-watch ritual for many citizens nationwide looking for both the truth and a little bit of hope. Scientists have found that some of them are not reliable enough, with too many false positives and false negatives. One in five have tested positive for antibodies, a marker of infection. As Cuomo said, the gesture perfectly illustrates the best of the American spirit during these very trying times. They developed the antibodies. "And they are now, quote unquote, recovered". "The sample was by definition people that were outside the home", Gov.
Diagnostic tests, such as the nasal swabs used on people who show up sick at the hospital, check for the virus itself.
Extrapolating the results would mean 2.7 million people in the state have been infected with the CCP virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China previous year.
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They were selected at supermarkets and had their blood taken by a finger-prick test from the state's health department.
Others believe people who have had the virus may now be immune.
On the other hand, if the actual infection rate among the state's entire population is similar to the early sample infection rate of 13.9%, it will change the state's death rate. But I want to see snapshots of what is happening with that rate. The sample size is 3,000 and the testing was done specifically on non-essential workers who were not quarantined in their homes.
The figures suggest NY is closer to achieving "herd immunity" than any other place that has carried out tests for antibodies.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that's still plausible, though the lack of comprehensive, widespread testing makes it hard to say for sure.
With diagnostic testing across the country hamstrung by logistical failures, antibody tests could play a crucial role in helping officials determine how widespread the virus actually is, and therefore how to prevent more deaths.
In the Boston suburb of Chelsea, that percentage was even higher than NY, with 64 out of 200 randomly sampled residents having antibodies.