New York will begin an “aggressive” plan to testing for Covid-19 antibodies, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday. The goal is to assess the extent of infections with an eye toward lifting some of the restrictions brought about by the stay-at-home order because of the epidemic.
Meanwhile, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said that Covid-19 deaths in the county rose to 825 with 132 deaths in recent days. However, the number of hospitalizations has declined.
“We are going to sample people in this state, thousands of people in this state, across the state to find out if they have the antibodies,” Cuomo said. “That will tell us, for the first time, what percent of the population actually has had the coronavirus and is now at least short-term immune to the virus. This will be the first, true snapshot of what we are really dealing with.”
The governor also thanked other communities and states for pitching in. “I want to thank the other states and communities who we put out a call for help, and we got help from all across the country. It reminds me in that post-9/11 time when we needed help, and other communities in the northeast needed help, and people came from all across the nation, and they just wanted to help, and they just showed up,” he said. “That’s what happened here. And that, when I talk about seeing the best and the worst in people at a time of crisis, that outpouring of generosity, I’m sure you felt the same, gave us such a sense of confidence that we’re not in it alone, and humanity and the love of the American people was there for us.And we will be there when anyone needs us.”
Cuomo also said that there had been another 6,054 cases confirmed in the state in the last 24 hours, bringing the state total to 242,786.
The testing will start Monday and involve a survey of 3,000 random people.