Nearly 14 percent of people at New York grocery stores who agreed to take a test tested positive for having been infected with COVID-19.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

On Thursday during his COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the preliminary results from the antibody study. 13.9 percent tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody. That means 13.9 percent were infected with COVID-19, Cuomo notes.

"It means these are people were infected and developed the antibody to fight the infection. They were infected three weeks, four weeks ago, five weeks ago, six weeks ago. But they had the virus, they developed the antibodies and they are now quote-unquote recovered," Cuomo said.

The study tested 3,000 people from 19 New York counties over a two-day span. The 3,000 people were at grocery stores and other stores and agreed to take the test, Cuomo said. According to Cuomo, if the infection rate is 13.9 percent, that means 2.7 million people infected statewide.

The regional breakdown is as follows:

  • NYC: 21.2 % positive
  • Long Island: 16.7 % positive
  • Westchester/Rockland: 11.7 % positive
  • Rest of State: 3.6 % positive

Cuomo believes the study might mean a lower death rate in New York than original estimates, but notes these are preliminary results and there are many things to consider. He also said the state will continue testing and studying, with plans to expand the size of the tests.

He added the results supports the plan to reopen New York on a regional basis.

When discussing plans to conduct the antibody study, Cuomo said the test will help officials a get better idea of when to start reopening the state.

"This will be the first true snapshot of exactly how many people were infected by COVID-19 and where we are as a population and will help us to reopen and rebuild without jeopardizing what we've already accomplished," Cuomo said.

Cuomo announced 438 New Yorkers died since the last count, bringing the statewide total to 15,740.

"We're not seeing that number fall as fast as we would like," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the best way to tell that shutdown efforts are working is the hospitalization rate. He adds the hospitalization rate is falling in New York, which is a good sign.

Cuomo announced an investigation into nursing homes to make sure regulations are in place and are being followed. New York Attorney General Letitia James and the New York State Department of Health with conduct the investigation.

Cuomo announced the following guidelines nursing homes must follow:

  • Staff must have their temperature checked each day
  • Staff must have PPE
  • There must be separate staff for COVID residents
  • COVID residents must be placed into a separate area
  • Notify residents and family members of COVID cases