Apr 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Cuomo says New York will begin "aggressive" antibody testing this week

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference on Thursday that the state will begin the "most aggressive" antibody testing in the country this week in an effort to determine the true number of people who have been infected by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Antibody tests can confirm whether a person may have had the coronavirus but was asymptomatic. They're considered one of the key tools necessary to be able to understand the scale of the outbreak and to potentially reopen the economy.

  • "This will be the first true snapshot of what we're really dealing with," Cuomo said on Sunday.
  • It's not yet clear whether people who have antibodies for the coronavirus are immune from catching it again, but if that were the case, it could allow some workers to return to their jobs.

The state of play: Cuomo said the FDA has approved New York's antibody test, and that the New York Department of Health will look to facilitate around 14,000 tests this week from a random sample of individuals.

  • "It's not like testing where somebody can ask to be tested," he stressed. "It has to be a random sample that is conducted throughout the state. Thousands of people get tested so we know this percentage of the population had the antibodies."

The big picture: Cuomo said that the data suggests New York is on the latter end of its coronavirus peak and is headed toward recovery — so long as residents continue to abide by stay-at-home orders and social distancing.

Go deeper: How coronavirus antibody tests will help

Go deeper

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Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response

Protesters in Philadelphia on June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests against police brutality have prompted the closure of coronavirus test sites across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Illinois, Politico reports.

Why it matters: This adds to concerns that the protests themselves create an environment in which the virus can easily spread, particularly if and when protesters aren't wearing masks or social distancing.

17 hours ago - Health

Controlling the coronavirus in nursing homes won't be easy

Data: FREOPP.org; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The structural issues that have plagued U.S. nursing homes for years will make it difficult for them to prevent coronavirus infections and deaths, even though we now understand the high-risk nature of the facilities.

Driving the news: Within the 80% of nursing homes that have reported coronavirus data to the federal government, nearly 26,000 residents died, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced yesterday.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump says RNC is looking outside of North Carolina for convention site

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions in North Carolina, the Republican Party will be "forced to seek another state" to host its convention in August.

The big picture: The late-night tweet came after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.