NYC healthcare workers catch coronavirus at below-average rate: Gov. Cuomo
New York’s frontline healthcare workers have contracted the coronavirus at a rate significantly below that of the general population, according to antibody testing results revealed Thursday.
In what Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “amazingly good news,” 12.2 percent of workers screened in the five boroughs had antibodies to the bug, as opposed to 19.9 percent of those tested from the city’s overall population.
The presence of antibodies in one’s immune system indicates that they were infected with the disease at some point, and may have built up some level of immunity to it.
In Westchester County, 6.8 percent of healthcare workers tested positive, versus 13.8 percent of the general population.
On Long Island, the margin was much thinner, but healthcare workers still came out ahead, 11.1 percent versus 11.4 percent.
All told, the state screened approximately 27,000 healthcare workers across 25 facilities in the three downstate regions, Cuomo said.
“What we found out is really good news,” he said during a press briefing at the New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY. “And one of the few positives that I’ve heard in a long time.
“I mean, that is amazingly good news.”
The governor said that the findings underscore the importance of taking proper precautions, such as covering your mouth and nose with a mask or other covering, and using hand sanitizer.
“It’s not that the front-line workers get anything especially more sophisticated than the masks that people wear,” he said. “But they follow protocol.”
The glimmer of good news came one day after another study yielded the “shocking” finding that two-thirds of New Yorkers hospitalized had been admitted from their homes.
Another round of testing detailed last week revealed that nearly 20 percent of FDNY/EMS members and over 10 percent of NYPD cops screened came up positive for antibodies.
“One of the top priorities for us has been protecting our frontline and our essential workers,” said Cuomo on Thursday. “They showed up and went to work and put their lives in danger.
“Look at the courage that those frontline workers had to show.”
The good news of the antibody testing was juxtaposed with a grim addition to the state’s death toll.
Another 231 New Yorkers succumbed to the coronavirus in the 24-hour period ending at midnight Thursday, running the overall tally to an unthinkable 20,828 fatalities.
The daily death toll have stubbornly hovered in that range for days, with 226, 230 and 232 deaths reported on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
“This is the worst number, every day,” said Cuomo. “You can see how slow that has come down, and how painfully high it still is.”
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