Gov. Cuomo Announces COVID-19 Antibody Testing as State’s Death Toll, Cases Trend Down
NEW YORK — New deaths and hospitalizations for coronavirus in New York state continued their downward trend over the weekend, but it’s only “halftime” in the fight against the deadly virus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo cautioned Sunday as he announced a new antibody testing regimen.
“If the data holds and if this trend holds, we are past the high point and all indications at this point are that we are on the descent,” he told reporters. “Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do.
“We showed that we can control the beast and when you close down, you can actually slow that infection rate, but it’s only halftime,” he continued. “We still have to make sure we keep that beast under control.”
The state’s death toll rose to 13,869, with 507 people dying in the 24 hours ending Saturday at midnight.
In New York City, there were 13,240 deaths — 8,811 of them confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,914 of them likely due to the disease. Confirmed deaths went up by 363 and “probable” cases by 165.
As grim as the numbers were, Cuomo noted that new deaths have been steadily decreasing, as have new hospitalizations. Hospitals admitted 1,384 new COVID-19 patients Saturday, down from a peak of 3,413 on March 2. Statewide, there were 16,213 in the hospital for the deadly virus as of midnight Saturday.
Cuomo announced the state will conduct random samples of thousands of people across the state for coronavirus antibodies, an undertaking he called “the most aggressive … in the nation.”
“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,” he said. “This will be the first true snapshot of what we’re dealing with.”
The state Health Department will run the tests “over the next week,” Cuomo added.
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