One of every five New York City residents tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, according to preliminary test results described by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday, suggesting the virus had spread far more widely than known. The New York Times reports: The results also provided the tantalizing prospect that many New Yorkers who never knew they had been infected — possibly as many as 2.7 million, the governor said — had already encountered the virus, and survived. Mr. Cuomo also suggested the death rate was far lower than believed. The reliability of some early antibody tests to hit the market has been widely questioned, with some — made in China without Food and Drug Administration approval — found by health officials to be deeply flawed. Researchers across New York have worked in recent weeks to develop and validate their own, with federal approval.
In New York City, about 21 percent, or one of every five residents, tested positive for coronavirus antibodies during the state survey. The rate was 16.7 percent in Long Island, 11.7 percent in Westchester and Rockland Counties, and 3.6 percent in the rest of the state. Almost 14 percent of those tested in New York were positive, according to preliminary results from the state survey, which sampled approximately 3,000 people over two days at grocery and big-box stores. The governor suggested on Thursday that, based on the survey, the death rate in New York from Covid-19 would likely be far lower than previously believed, possibly 0.5 percent of those infected. On Thursday, Mr. Cuomo did not talk about any potential for immunity among those previously infected.
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