The reason the tests were randomly taken from those at grocery and big-box stores is that these were people not isolating in their homes and presumably not at work and therefore not essential workers.
According to Cuomo, this early estimated infection rate of 13.9% could mean approximately 2.7 million New Yorkers infected with COVID-19 statewide.
Of the Long Islanders tested, 16.7% were found to have COVID antibodies, while 11.7% of those tested from Westchester and Rockland counties were positive.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will help develop a first-ever coronavirus testing and tracing program for New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Compared to New York City, the state's testing found lower antibody positives in other regions.
Those numbers are way above the 263,460 declared cases across NY state, the epicentre of America's outbreak, where the virus has killed more than 15,500 people.
"We've been talking about Westchester/Rockland and Nassau/Suffolk basically as one, but there is a variation with the Long Island numbers", Cuomo said.
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More evidence is emerging that far more New Yorkers have had the coronavirus than the number confirmed by lab tests, officials said Thursday. Even as Cuomo was announcing the testing rollout on Sunday, the health department was quietly setting up shop in stores around the state, including a Price Chopper and Wegmans in Syracuse.
He cautioned that this was based on preliminary data and that the death toll "is going to go up" and now does not account for at-home or presumed deaths.
"If you look at what we have now as a death total which is 15,500 that would be about a 0.5 percent death rate".
The DOH and Attorney General will be investigating violations of the laws that apply to nursing homes.
Extrapolating the results would mean 2.7 million people in the state have been infected with the CCP virus, a novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China a year ago.
It was already clear that the coronavirus has the capacity to spread at an alarming rate - that, of course, is why states across the country implemented sweeping measures to slow the rate at which it was filling hospitals.
"That number is not coming down as fast as we'd like to see that number come down", he said of the daily fatality count.