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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is holding a press conference Friday to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 145,855 people in New York City, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said Thursday nearly 1 million residents probably have been exposed to the virus, describing the number of confirmed cases as just “the tip of the iceberg.” She added that the city is still not testing broadly and has to prioritize testing mostly for those who are already hospitalized.
Later Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the preliminary results of a statewide coronavirus antibody study, which estimated 13.9% of New Yorkers have likely had Covid-19 already. The state randomly tested 3,000 people at grocery stores and shopping locations across 19 counties in 40 localities to see if they had the antibodies to fight the coronavirus, indicating they have had the virus and recovered from it, Cuomo said.
The results differed across the state with the largest concentration of positive antibody tests found in New York City at 21.2%. He added the caveat that “these are people who were out and about shopping,” so they may not have been strictly social distancing.
On Wednesday, Cuomo announced that billionaire philanthropist and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg will help the state develop and implement an aggressive program to test people and trace their contacts. Bloomberg will contribute $10 million and help to build an online program to train what Cuomo described as an “army” of tracers.
The state is grappling with the worst outbreak in the U.S. with more than 263,460 of the nation’s 869,172 cases. More than 49,963 people have died from Covid-19 in the U.S., with more than 20,982 of those fatalities concentrated in New York state.