NEW YORK – A new study commissioned by New York’s Department of Health found that by the end of March, 1 in 7 New York adults had already contracted COVID-19 — roughly ten times the official count at the time. CNN notes that the study adds to the growing body of evidence that the virus was far more widespread, far earlier, than was generally believed at the time.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt and a frequent adviser to the US Centers for Disease Control, told the outlet that while the numbers may be surprising to laypeople, they confirm what many epidemiologists had long suspected.
“Every public health person and infectious disease person in the country is going to line up and say yes, for sure, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
He was also quick to point out that while many people have been infected by the disease, we are nowhere near the threshold for herd immunity.
“This study illuminates that a large proportion of the population was susceptible and can indeed await potential infection down the road this summer, and especially this winter,” he told CNN.
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