Ohio Gov. DeWine tests negative for COVID-19 after initial false positive


First Lady Fran DeWine and staff members have all tested negative as well

(WKBN) – After a second COVID-19 test Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has now tested negative for the virus. He announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 just before going to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland.

First Lady Fran DeWine and staff members have all tested negative as well.

The second test was a PCR test, which looks for the genetic material specific for the virus that causes COVID-19. The governor’s office said this test is extremely sensitive.

The PCR tests for DeWine, Fran and staff members were run two times Thursday afternoon. They came back negative both times.

The first test — an antigen test — was part of protocol for Trump’s visit to Ohio.

Antigen tests are new technology to reduce the cost and improve the turnaround time for COVID-19 testing. However, the governor’s office said antigen tests are new and there’s not much experience with them in Ohio.

According to a news release from DeWine’s office, the governor had no symptoms at the time.

The positive result changed the governor’s plan for the day.

“The idea was I was going to get tested, which I did,” DeWine said. “Everyone who sees the president is tested so I was tested, and I went there to the airport and when I got to the airport, found out shortly thereafter that I tested positive. So that was a big surprise. Obviously, could not see the president.”

He and Fran immediately turned around and went back to their home in Cedarville, where they had planned to quarantine for 14 days.

The governor’s office said it will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between the two tests could have occurred.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted also took the COVID-19 test Thursday as part of the protocol to greet the president. Husted tested negative so he continued at the event in Cleveland.

President Trump gave his well wishes to DeWine.

“Governor DeWine of Ohio just tested positive here and we want to wish him the best,” Trump said. “He will be fine. I guess he is going for a second test. I said, ‘I look forward to seeing the governor.’ They said, ‘Sir, he just tested positive.'”

DeWine held a virtual news conference Thursday afternoon, where he echoed the severity of the virus and reminded Ohioans to stay safe.

“We know you’re always simply dealing with trying to improve your odds and when you wear a mask, you’re improving your odds dramatically, but that does not mean you won’t get it. You restrict the number of people you see, that improves your odds dramatically but there’s no guarantees, no guarantees in life. So I don’t think people should read a whole lot into this other than what we already know — this is very dangerous and very contagious.”

To be extra careful and follow the advice of medical professionals, the governor and first lady plan on having another test done Saturday. The results of that test will also be released.

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