What the antibody test results show us


The city has reached its lowest percentage of positive viral tests, 0.24%, since the start of the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday. But on the same day, Mr Cuomo said the figure was 0.8%.

Despite the gap, both numbers indicate the city has largely tamed the virus. Still, health experts are warning of a second wave and the protection offered by antibodies against coronaviruses remains unknown.

But there may be good news for neighborhoods like Corona, Queens, which were ravaged by the virus in March and April: Some researchers are hoping herd immunity would require around half the community to be immunized.

In a Corona zip code, 51.6% of people tested had antibodies.

The city’s worst-hit postcode was indeed in Corona, home to many construction and catering workers who continued to work during the height of the virus crisis. The neighborhood also has a particularly high household overcrowding rate, which may have contributed to higher infection rates.

The tight-knit Hasidic Jewish community of Borough Park, Brooklyn, has also been severely affected. The neighborhood, where larger households are also common, had the city’s second-highest rate of positive antibody tests.

More than 32 percent of children who tested were positive, making those 17 and under the age group most likely to have antibodies.

However, children were the age group least likely to be tested for antibodies, so these data don’t add much clue about whether public schools in the city should reopen.


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