Coronavirus News: 1 in 5 NYC residents tested for antibodies is positive, Cuomo says

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The first phase of results from a statewide New York COVID-19 antibody study are in, and New York City was found to have the highest percentage of positive results at 21.2%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the study collected approximately 3,000 antibody samples from 40 locations in 19 counties to try to determine the infection rate.

The tests were collected at grocery stores and other box stores and found that 13.9% of people tested positive for having antibodies in New York.

Extrapolated, the results would indicate that more than 1 in 5 New York City residents has already had the coronavirus.

Long Island checked in at 16.7%, Westchester and Rockland counties at 11.7%, and the rest of the state at 3.6%.

The demographics breakdown is as follows:
--Male: 15.9%
--Female: 12%
--Latino/Hispanic: 22.5%
--Black: 22.1%
--Asian: 11.7%
--Multi/None/Other: 22.8%
--White: 9.1%

Cuomo cautioned that supermarket customers do not constitute a random sample of the population.

"You are testing people who by definition who are out of the home and not at work," he said. "These are people who out and about, shopping. They were not people who were in their home, isolated or quarantined, who you could argue had a lower rate of infection because they wouldn't come out of the house. These are people who are outside."

Cuomo said it would also mean that 2.7 million people have been infected statewide, but he added the current death toll is not accurate because it does not include people who died at home and those who were never tested for COVID-19.

The state department of health released the following statement to ABC News:

"Grocery stores provided a venue where adults could be found during this pandemic in sufficient numbers to reach an adequate sample that is representative of the adult population. Store locations were selected to maximize the chances that a racially/ethnically diverse population was reached. Where possible, we worked with chains such as Wegmans and Price Chopper to simplify the store recruitment process. The objective was to recruit between 100-200 patrons per store. The sampling procedure selected was chosen to greatly expedite the survey, which is believed to be the largest conducted to date. Additional research is needed to confirm the seroprevalence estimates."

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