According to a new study conducted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, immunity to the Covid-19 infection lingers for at least five months, possibly longer.

The new report released Wednesday shows 90% of people who were mildly or moderately ill from Covid-19 infections keep a stable antibody response that is strong enough to neutralize the virus.

“Although this cannot provide conclusive evidence that these antibody responses protect from reinfection, we believe it is very likely that they will decrease the odds ratio of reinfection,” researchers wrote.

However, researchers stressed that a vaccine can provide better immunity than an actual infection.

MORE ON THE PANDEMIC

Kroger pharmacies and clinics nationwide will begin offering rapid Covid-19 antibody tests by the end of November. The $25 antibody tests require a finger-prick blood sample to determine if someone has previously been infected with the coronavirus and provide results in 15 minutes.

Health experts stress that “people who think they currently have COVID-19 should not take an antibody test because it only detects antibodies developed in response to the virus, not the virus itself.”

An upstate New York prison is struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak as nearly 40% of the inmates have tested positive.

Inmates at the Elmira Correctional Facility, a state prison in Elmira, New York, were quarantined in their cells and visitations were cancelled when the facility went into lockdown on October 21.

A group of advocates and family members of inmates, who say there is a lack of communication from prison officials, held a rally outside the prison earlier this week demanding the release of the most vulnerable prisoners.

Admiral Brett Giroir, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, denies that increased testing results in increased Covid-19 cases, a message often repeated by the Trump administration officials. Giroir instead points to the real increase is the uptick in hospitalizations and deaths nationwide from COVID-19. This week, hospitals in 38 states reported an increase in coronavirus patients.

Giroir, who says the nation is at “another critical point” in the response to the pandemic, urges citizens to continue wearing masks, wash hands and practice physical distancing. On Wednesday, the admiral warned that local governments may be forced to impose “draconian measures” if Americans don’t begin implementing the necessary safety precautions seriously to stop the worsening crisis.

In an effort to win over seniors and low-income households, Trump is expected to announce that Medicare and Medicaid will cover out-of-pocket costs for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

White House officials have reportedly been working to change regulations that would allow Medicare and Medicaid recipients to receive free vaccines. An announcement is expected before Election Day.

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