Coronavirus in Brookline: 7% of people test positive for antibodies

Coronavirus testing in Brookline has shown that nearly 7% of people have antibodies, indicating exposure to the virus, as the town recommends residents continue social distancing and wearing face coverings.

Nearly 700 residents, town employees and first responders were tested for coronavirus antibodies late last week and 47 people, or 6.82% tested positive, according to an update from the town.

“The results of these tests show that our community has a very low exposure to COVID-19 at this stage, which means the vast majority of residents are potentially at risk of getting sick and should continue to take preventive steps to avoid the virus,” said Brookline Public Health Director Dr. Swannie Jett.

The town had invited hundreds of randomly selected residents to take part in antibody testing and then opened the testing event to all residents via social media.

Officials are still recommending residents practice social distancing and wear face coverings in public.

In Boston, nearly 10% of asymptomatic residents have coronavirus antibodies, and more than 2% of that same apparently healthy group actually currently has the virus, according to the results of a sampling study.

As previously reported in the Herald, the study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston Public Health Commission tested 750 residents and city employees over the past couple of weeks in East Boston, Roslindale and Dorchester.

The exact figures are 9.9% of the subjects testing positive for antibodies, and 2.6% for currently having the virus — even though they had no apparent signs of the highly infectious disease.

Mayor Martin Walsh said the still-high number of people who haven’t been exposed to the virus — more people than the city expected, he said — means any reopening needs to be done very carefully.

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