News 4 Buffalo

Erie County Health Commissioner surprised by antibody testing results

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–In the past month, Erie County has ramped up its testing, including purchasing 100,000 antibody tests.

But those test results may be surprising.

Earlier this week, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told us 92% of the community has tested negative for antibodies at this time. 

Today, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says that’s data from all sites performing antibody testing.

And while the county has just started scheduling those types of tests, Burstein says she’s still surprised by the low number of positive cases – less than 10% at this point.

But she says there is a positive takeaway from this information. 

“On the positive side, it shows the strategies we have been using to prevent the chain of transmission of COVID 19 in our community have been working. People have been really great about keeping social distancing, wearing masks when they go out, washing their hands and it shows us if we can continue doing this even when businesses open up we can keep those numbers down until a vaccine arrives,” Burstein said.

She described this time period right now as borrowed until we do get a vaccination for COVID 19, which is why we must continue to follow proper safety measures to keep our numbers down.

Burstein also says we’re still learning more about antibodies, including if they even provide more immunity for those who test positive and for how long.