NY begins antibody testing to see who may be immune

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, about 3,000 people will take the blood test to see if they have antibodies.

News 12 Staff

Apr 20, 2020, 10:11 AM

Updated 1,491 days ago

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Testing is about to begin all across New York state to help determine what percentage of the population is now immune to the coronavirus.
Thousands of people across New York are being treated for coronavirus, so now the state health department is set to begin conducting antibody testing starting today.
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, about 3,000 people will take the blood test to see if they have antibodies.
The goal of the test is to find out what percentage of the population has had the coronavirus and may now be immune.
Health officials say it is one of the key pieces of information that will guide decisions about reopening the economy.
Because this is a simple blood test, the FDA waived the initial review of the antibody test as part of its emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That's why some are questioning the accuracy of the test and say antibody tests should be paired with diagnostic tests.
Diagnostic testing, like a nasal swab, determines whether or not someone is infected.
Some labs are working on that type of testing. "One side of the lab working on diagnostic testing and another whole side of the lab develop is changing and building the capacity to develop the antibody testing. The goal is to do the maximum amount of testing as we probably, as we possibly can," says Michael Dowling, CEO Northwell Health.
Gov. Cuomo is calling this the most aggressive statewide coronavirus antibody testing survey in the nation. The blood test can yield results in about 24 hours.
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