NEW YORK CITY, NY — It has long been suspected that many people are infected with the novel coronavirus but aren’t aware of it. The results of an antibody survey, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on May 2, show that 12.3 percent of the population of New York State have COVID-19 antibodies, while slightly less than three percent had tested positive for the virus before the antibody tests were administered. The survey developed a baseline infection rate by testing 15,000 people at grocery stores and community centers across the state over the two weeks. Of those tested, 11.5 percent of women tested positive and 13.1 percent of men tested positive.
The antibody rate varied greatly from one region to another. The rate in the Hudson Valley (minus Westchester and Rockland counties) was three percent, while the rate in New York City was 19 percent.
“While we’re in uncharted waters, it doesn’t mean we proceed blindly, and the results of the 15,000 people tested in our antibody survey program—the largest survey in the nation—will inform our strategy moving forward,” Cuomo said. “We’re also going to undertake a full survey of antibody testing for transit workers, who have been on the front lines of this crisis. We’ve said thank you to our essential workers thousands of times but actions speak louder than words, and we want them to know that we’re doing everything we can do to keep them safe.”
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