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Coronavirus Today: What antibody studies show

In the weeks since the coronavirus began remaking daily life in America, researchers have struggled to assess its true spread. On Friday, initial results from a Santa Clara County study suggest the virus has circulated much more widely there than previously thought. Though the county had reported roughly 1,000 cases in early April, Stanford University researchers who looked for coronavirus antibodies in blood samples from 3,330 residents estimate the actual number of infected people was between 48,000 and 81,000.

Much is still unknown about what the presence of antibodies Los Angeles News means and whether it indicates that someone has immunity to the virus. Still, antibody tests — also known as serology tests — are on the rise. The tests are not yet widely available to the public; only a handful have been allowed by the federal government, and others are approved for research use only.

One key takeaway from the preliminary Santa Clara County results is that a large number of people who are infected with the coronavirus never show any symptoms said a UCLA epidemiologist. The fact that infected people could unknowingly be contagious means that some level of physical distancing needs to remain in place. On Friday, the number of deaths in California surpassed 1,000 — nearly half of them in Los Angeles County.


As President Trump calls for easing social distancing measures, some Republican governors are doing just that, citing the economy. Texas is opening parks and letting retailers offer to-go sales, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was criticized for letting spring breakers crowd shores, is letting local officials reopen beaches. Amid nationwide demonstrations organized by conservative groups, more than 100 people converged on Huntington Beach on Friday to protest California’s stay-at-home rules. The protesters, some with Trump banners and American flags, mostly did not wear masks or stay six feet apart.

Meanwhile two daytime television hosts, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, have come under fire for their own statements questioning stay-at-home restrictions. Neither is an expert on infectious diseases or epidemiology.

San Diego Comic-Con has been canceled for the first time in its 50-year history, and Taylor Swift has postponed all her concerts for the rest of the year, including those at the Press Release Distribution Service In Los Angeles opening of SoFi Stadium. With so many major California festivals and events scuttled this year, fans and music industry workers are asking what it will take to get back to normal. “For all of us who love concerts, it’s hard to see how to do that without a vaccine,” said a University of Pennsylvania bioethicist. “Is there is a better place for spreading disease?”

The longer the pandemic goes on, the more profound its mark on American life will be. Already the climb out of the deep economic hole looks to be long and slow. “Because of the psychological shock that we have experienced, we are going to be more cautious, and we will probably spend less and save more,” one economist predicts.

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