New York test of 3,000 people finds 14% with coronavirus antibodies

(Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday (Apr 23) a screening of 3,000 people found nearly 14 per cent tested positive for antibodies for the novel coronavirus, suggesting that 2.7 million residents across the state may have been infected with the disease.

Cuomo noted that the survey was preliminary and had limitations, including the possibility that New York, like California, would find the coronavirus was circulating and killing people earlier than previously known.

He said the testing targeted people who were out shopping, meaning that they may be more likely to have been infected than people isolating at home.

Still, Cuomo said the preliminary data added to the state’s understanding of the virus and at least initially indicated a fatality rate of about 0.5 per cent of confirmed cases that is far lower than some experts feared.

Over the past week, Cuomo has increasingly turned his attention to ramping up testing as hospitalisations, intubations and other metrics continue to improve, suggesting the state hit hardest by the pandemic has likely passed the worst stage.