First responders start antibody testing at the Westchester County Center

Gov. Cuomo says antibody testing is considered a key element of reopening New York.

News 12 Staff

May 4, 2020, 9:47 AM

Updated 1,476 days ago

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First responders start antibody testing at the Westchester County Center

Testing for coronavirus antibodies in Westchester's first responders began Monday.

At the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Westchester County Center has been turned into a makeshift hospital for the overflow of COVID-19 patients. But since they haven't needed to use it yet, health officials started using it Monday for antibody testing for county medical, police, fire and corrections workers.

After county employees are tested, then tests will be administered for first responders who work in Westchester's large cities and then first responders who work in towns and villages.

According to medical officials, antibody testing can show who may have been exposed to the coronavirus even if they never showed symptoms. It can also help doctors predict who is immune to COVID-19. People who have the antibodies may also donate blood or plasma to help in the treatment of those sickened by the virus.

Gov. Cuomo says antibody testing is considered a key element of reopening New York as he begins the process of easing restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus.

There will be as many as 400 antibody tests per day, so it could take a few weeks before all the emergency workers are tested. Once that's finished, then testing may be opened to the public at the site.
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