Some members of the FDNY are being tested for the first time with new COVID-19 antibody testing.
The Uniformed Firefighters Association says that nearly 24% of the department contracted the coronavirus. They say the response is welcome, but a little late.
Nearly 3,000 FDNY members tested positive for the coronavirus, and half are back at work. At the FDNY Headquarters Monday, 1,000 members took part in a pilot program announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday.
The goal is to determine how many first responders already contracted the virus and potentially have immunity.
The expanded criteria allows all first responders, health care workers and essential employees to be tested for COVID-19, even if they aren't symptomatic.
For at least a month, the head of the FDNY Uniformed Officers Association says he's been urging state and city officials to provide testing.
UFA President Gerard Fitzgerald states that these firefighters have been exposed to the virus on the job and are worried they could be bringing it home to their families.
Fitzgerald says the priority for testing Monday was given to those who fell into certain categories. He hopes further testing will be provided to reach more members of the department.