People undergo antibody testing as process offers insights into COVID-19

The results of New York's groundbreaking antibody testing suggests COVID-19 was likely here earlier than previously thought and more widespread. A location in Spring Valley is performing more antibody testing as we learn more about the coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Apr 24, 2020, 10:24 PM

Updated 1,489 days ago

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The results of New York's groundbreaking antibody testing suggests COVID-19 was likely here earlier than previously thought and more widespread. A location in Spring Valley is performing more antibody testing as we learn more about the coronavirus.
The infection rate in Westchester and Rockland is 11.7%, according to preliminary results. That's slightly lower than the nearly 14% state rate. If the study is accurate, it would mean the virus already may have afflicted as many as 2.7 million people in New York.
As an essential worker, News 12's Diane Caruso headed to Medrite in Spring Valley for antibody testing to see if she had already had coronavirus. Eliezer Gurkov, the clinical director there, says their method is FDA-registered, though not approved, with a 96% accuracy rate.
"If you take the test too early, like while you have COVID, it could be too early," says Gurkov. "And it won't detect the antivirus response yet yet. So we encourage people to come at least 14 to 21 days after the onset of the symptoms so then it'll be more accurate."
Those with positive antibody results can donate plasma to help patients struggling with COVID-19, according to Gurkov.
Many officials hope antibody testing will help in the process of slowly reopening post-coronavirus. 
There are currently 15 antibody testing locations downstate. Medrite in Spring Valley is giving first priority to testing first responders.
It's still unknown how much protection antibodies provide or how long the immunity might last. 
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