New York has begun “the most aggressive” statewide antibody testing to help determine how much of the population has been infected by and recovered from the coronavirus — a step health officials say is essential for reopening the economy.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that state Department of Health officials plan to randomly select 3,000 people for tests that will look for indications that their bodies have fought off the virus, even if they were never tested or showed any symptoms.
“Any plan to start to reopen the economy has to be based on data and testing, and we have to make sure our antibody and diagnostic testing is up to the scale we need so we can safely get people back to work,” Cuomo said in a statement, adding that the testing would be done “in the most aggressive way in the nation.”
Cuomo noted that Germany — with a population of 83 million to New York’s 19.5 million — used the same sample size for its antibody testing survey.
He said the results will provide “the first true snapshot of exactly how many people were infected by COVID-19 and where we are as a population and will help us to reopen and rebuild without jeopardizing what we’ve already accomplished.”