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April 21, 2020

Around the nation: New York to begin mass coronavirus antibody testing

Daily Briefing

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday said the New York Department of Health this week will execute about 14,000 tests to identify whether individuals have built up antibodies to the new coronavirus, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from New York, Washington, and West Virginia.

    • New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Thursday announced the state will begin mass antibody testing to determine how many people in the state already have been infected by the new coronavirus. Cuomo said the New York Department of Health this week will execute about 14,000 tests on a random sample of people. Cuomo said the sample will provide insight into the scale of the state's coronavirus outbreak (Perano, Axios, 4/19).
    • Washington: Washington's State Department of Health on Sunday announced the state recalled 12,000 testing kits for the new coronavirus due to possible contamination. UW Medicine alerted the health department of the issue on Friday after workers noticed some vials of the viral transport media, which is the fluid that preserves samples for the test, were a strange color. Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman in a statement said, "We are working with our partners to have them discard the product and will work to replace them as quickly as we can" (Klar, The Hill, 4/19).
    • West Virginia: Gov. Jim Justice (R) on Friday ordered that all nursing home residents and staff in the state be tested for the new coronavirus. Justice said he issued the order to address reported testing discrepancies amid outbreaks of the virus at nursing homes in the state. According to Justice, West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources and the National Guard will perform all of the tests among nursing homes residents and staff. Justice did not provide an estimate of when the testing will be completed (Izaguirre, Associated Press, 4/17).

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