New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday that the state will begin testing thousands of residents for antibodies from the novel coronavirus, calling it the “most aggressive statewide antibody testing survey in the nation.”

“Any plan that is going to start to reopen the economy has to be based on data and that means it has to be based on testing,” Cuomo said. “You have all these scientists and all these experts who are basically trying to extrapolate from the data, but we don’t really know how many people were infected — how many people had coronavirus but self-resolved?”

He continued, “We don’t really know because we haven’t been able to do testing on that large a scale, but we’re going to start, and we’re going to start here in the state of New York with antibody testing.”

The antibody tests will offer “the first true snapshot of what we’re really dealing with,” according to the governor.

Antibody tests will determine if an individual was previously infected with the virus but recovered, thus possessing potential immunity or heightened defenses against re-contracting it.

Cuomo plans to conduct 2,000 antibody tests per day on a random sample of New York residents, as he moves to reopen the state’s economy.

New York was hit hardest by COVID-19, reporting over 250,000 cases and nearly 19,000 deaths as of Monday night, but experts believe New York has since passed its peak in cases, leading Cuomo to develop a reopening plan for New York.

CORONAVIRUS FAQ: WIKI OF MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

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