A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital found that 32 percent of people tested in Chelsea were found to have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus:
1/ In the working-class Massachusetts town of Chelsea, 32 percent of the population tested positive for viral antibodies (!) – meaning they have already been infected and recovered – 16 times the rate known to be infected. https://t.co/iMuNgfGfEK
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 18, 2020
One major caveat is that it’s a relatively small study, but it’s well worth watching to seem what more comes from it. From the Boston Globe:
Nearly one third of 200 Chelsea residents who gave a drop of blood to researchers on the street this week tested positive for antibodies linked to COVID-19, a startling indication of how widespread infections have been in the densely populated city.
Sixty-four residents who had a finger pricked in Bellingham Square on Tuesday and Wednesday had antibodies that the immune system makes to fight off the coronavirus, according to Massachusetts General Hospital physicians who ran the pilot study.
The 200 participants generally appeared healthy, but about half told the doctors they had had at least one symptom of COVID-19 in the past four weeks.
There is also a question if Chelsea is representative of other cities:
All in favor of extensive antibody testing.
But I’m from Chelsea. It’s very different from NYC.
Vast majority of people in Chelsea have had to continue at on location work in jobs that make social distancing impossible. And many living with several families to an apartment.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) April 18, 2020
And it’s not just people on our side sharing the study, FWIW:
Researchers from Mass General did pinprick serology tests of 200 people on the street in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a very hard hit town. 30% were positive for COVID19. Lotsa caveats abt the test, manner of sampling, etc. but pretty startling number. https://t.co/hxwuxeUPgF
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 18, 2020
Researchers can also follow these people to see if they’re actually immune or not:
Interesting: 1/3 of a sample of 200 people in Chelsea, a part of Boston hard hit by #Covid19 tested positive for antibodies. Need more & bigger studies before concluding too much. Would be good to follow folks over time to see how long they last. https://t.co/tZoSAsgVeY
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) April 18, 2020
Keep in mind, this is quite different than the Stanford study we told you about on Friday:
The very limited studies so far using antibody tests in the U.S. have had differing results. One in California estimated 2.5-4.2% had antibodies of 3,300 people. One in Mass. of 200 people found around 33%. https://t.co/Zycxwd4UAr https://t.co/83EcdFO3oK
— KCRG (@KCRG) April 19, 2020
Brit Hume shares WSJ op-ed by Stanford professors that argues COVID-19 fatality rate 'may be too high by orders of magnitude' https://t.co/79hlHGhjXZ
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 25, 2020