NYC to begin coronavirus antibody testing for health-care workers and first responders, mayor says

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Mayor Bill de Blasio greets healthcare workers and conducts a press conference at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, New York, April 10, 2020.

EuropaNewswire | Gado | Getty Images

New York City will offer free coronavirus antibody testing to more than 150,000 health-care workers and first responders on the front line of the outbreak to determine if they’ve likely been infected with Covid-19 and recovered, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

“Antibody testing brings a lot to the table, and our goal is to reach a lot of people who would like to take advantage of it on a voluntary basis, of course,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Wednesday.

An antibody test shows whether someone has been exposed to or potentially had the coronavirus and developed the antibodies to fight the infection. It doesn’t guarantee immunity, but physicians say a positive antibody test indicates that a patient may have some level of protection against reinfection. 

De Blasio said the city aims to begin testing personnel next week at hospitals, firehouses, police stations and corrections facilities. The city’s goal is to test all health-care workers and first responders within one month, he said. 

The testing is in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, de Blasio said. 

“It’s not a perfect test but it does give real information. It is helpful,” de Blasio said. “It tells you something very important and is part of solving this bigger puzzle of the coronavirus and fighting it back.” 

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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