Released: 4/24/2020 9:28:57 AM
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the preliminary results of the New York State Antibody Study on Thursday.
Out of the 3,000 tests, 13.9 percent tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, suggesting they had been infected at some point and recovered.
Local experts said the preliminary results of the study provide a snapshot of a bigger picture.
Dr. John Sellick, a Hospital Epidemiologist for Kaleida Health, explained, "This is a first pass, a first attempt to try to get some sense of how much disease, how much infection there has been in a community."
Added Dr. Brahm Segal, the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center: "The numbers are telling a story that there's a huge geographic variation in terms of people who've been exposed to the COVID virus."
Included in the preliminary results, the New York City area had the highest percentage, followed by Long Island, then Westchester/Rockland. The region considered "the rest of the state" had the lowest percentage.
"So that tells us that we really don't have much protective immunity within our community," Dr. Segal said.
The preliminary results also provide some insight into the question we all have: When can the strict measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus be lifted?
Dr. Sellick told 2 on Your Side, "I think that everybody was hoping that the percentage positive was going to be a lot higher and that we were gonna say, 'OK, we're good now,' but I think this tells us that we really need to be much more cautious as we move forward, because we don't have a very high level of background immunity, at least based on this small sample, and hopefully we get more information over the course of the coming weeks."
Added Dr. Segal: "That's just another warning sign that we have to continue our practices of personal responsibility.
He explained that includes wearing masks, washing our hands and practicing social distancing.
Click HERE for the full interview.