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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the state will begin testing for coronavirus antibodies as early as this week, and that he issued a new executive order mandating that all people wear a mask or face covering while in public when social distancing is not possible.
Cuomo said the order would take effect in three days to allow people time to get a cloth covering or face mask.
In his daily press briefing, Cuomo said the state’s health department has developed it’s own antibody test, and will start running about 2,000 tests per day via finger prick.
“New York State Department of Health developed their own antibody tests and that is going to be very important and it’s in our control because we’d actually do those tests. We don’t need a private lab,” he said.
Testing be will prioritized for first responders, health care professionals, and essential workers.
Cuomo said conducting such testing will identify people who have already been infected with COVID-19 and who have since recovered.
New York leads the nation in both coronavirus cases and fatalities, with over 203,000 cases and 11,586 deaths.