MALTA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Sunday that statewide antibody testing starts tomorrow. Random testing by the Department of Health on thousands of people will help build data points, allow people to return to work safely, and potentially develop a medical treatment for the coronavirus.
Although the governor indicated tests would begin on Monday, the Department of Health began antibody testing on Sunday at Price Chopper grocery stores in Malta, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs.
At the Price Chopper on Kendall Way in Malta, a long line of people wrapped around the store as people waited to undergo antibody testing from health officials. Edgar page got tested after waiting for nearly two hours, he says.
Page says testing took under three minutes, and that he was given a pink sheet of paper with a number to call for results. The results should be available in one week.
Page says that the Health Department did not expect such a huge response, or have enough tests for the thousands of individuals eager to be tested. “It was good to see everybody with a mask,” he says.
Some who wanted to be tested were out of luck, unable to get their finger pricked before testing stopped at 7 p.m.
This comes as the Food and Drug Administration announced it would tighten restrictions on antibody tests. In March, the FDA loosened standards, allowing companies to sell the tests without submitting evidence that they worked.
Tests will now be reviewed to ensure their accuracy, the FDA says. However, with over ninety companies selling antibody tests, it is unclear how many will be scrutinized, or by what methods.
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