ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the number of statewide random antibody tests has expanded to 7,500, which reveals a better picture of the extent of coronavirus spread in New York.
Cuomo said 14.9% of those tested statewide tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, which is up from the initial 13.9% statewide when a previous sample of 3,000 people was done on April 22. Cuomo said the 1% increase is statistically in the margin of error.READ MORE: 8 People Killed In Mass Shooting At FedEx Facility In Indianapolis
Regionally, the results suggest:
- 24.7% positive in New York City
- 15.1% positive in Westchester/Rockland
- 14.4% positive on Long Island
- 3.2% positive in the rest of the state
A new Siena College poll found more than half of New Yorkers — 51% — personally know someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Of those people, 32%, which includes nearly half of New York City voters, know someone who died as a result of the virus, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Monday night.
The governor said he’s going to conduct antibody surveys of 1,000 NYPD and FDNY personnel to determine the infection rate in those organizations. A similar survey will be done with 3,000 health care workers and 1,000 transit workers.
“We want to un-PAUSE. May 15 is when the PAUSE regulations expire statewide. I will extend them in many parts of the state. But in some parts of the state, some regions, you can make the case that we should un-PAUSE on May 15. But you have to be smart about it,” Cuomo said. “Start thinking through what it means to reopen.”
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As for the conditions of a reopening, Cuomo said first CDC guidelines suggesting a decline of hospitalizations for 14 days must be met. Construction and manufacturing would be the first industries to be brought back, but precautions to protect the workers must be considered. The health care capacity of a region which might also be reopened also needs to be considered, especially as flu season approaches later this year. Testing and tracing systems must also be in place.
“We can’t open an attraction that might bring many people from outside the region and then overwhelm people in that region. You have a lot of pent up demand,” Cuomo said.READ MORE: New NYPD 'Digidog' Robot Raising Questions Among New Yorkers
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Cuomo said he had asked President Donald Trump to allow the temporary medical facilities the federal government has constructed to stay in place through September. More than 1,000 people had been treated at the temporary hospital at the Javits Center.
Gainer reported Monday night that all remaining patients have been taken off the USNS Comfort Navy hospital ship after it was determined last week it was no longer needed.
Cuomo said the state was going to commit $25 million to help food banks that have been overwhelmed by demand as the pandemic continues. He asked philanthropies to also help. Food banks had seen a 40-60% surge in demand upstate, 40% increase on Long Island, 100% increase in New York City and 200% increase in Westchester. Philanthropies willing to help should contact Fran Barrett, Director of Nonprofits by emailing COVIDPhilantrhopies@exec.ny.gov.
“This is, I would say, the number one thing they can do to help,” Cuomo said.
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The governor launched an initiative to prevent dairies from dumping excess milk. Cuomo said the state was partnering with various dairy-related production companies to purchase the excess milk and have it turned into products that can be brought to food banks.