Governor Mike DeWine was headed to Cleveland to meet President Trump who is visiting the state today. During his ride to the Burke Lakefront Airport, he took a rapid response test which returned a positive result for the coronavirus.
DeWine is headed back to Columbus after his positive test. Currently, the 73-year-old has not experienced any symptoms, according to the Governor’s statement.
The positive test raises several questions, the most apparent is whether the positive test result is accurate. The gold standard in COVID-19 testing is the molecular test. The rapid test is an antigen test with rapid return technology, which does not detect the COVID-19 virus, instead the test measures viral proteins – a less accurate measure of infection.
Earlier in the week Governor DeWine discussed the state’s need to ramp rapid testing to alleviate a burden on state labs working to process nearly 20,000 tests a day. The tradeoff favoring speed opens the door for increased false positives associated with antigen tests.
When DeWine and First Lady Fran get back to Ohio’s capital, they will both take another coronavirus test.
The governor will follow COVID-19’s protocol and quarantine for two weeks, DeWine’s statement says.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) August 6, 2020
DeWine’s positive test was made public around 12:45 p.m., which happened just before Trump left for Ohio, according to The Hill.
Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, tweeted that Trump wished DeWine a “speedy and full recovery” and commended the governor for the work he has done in Ohio.
The President wishes Governor DeWine a speedy and full recovery and commends the job he’s doing for the great state of Ohio. https://t.co/NYj9I9bBIz
— Judd Deere (@JuddPDeere45) August 6, 2020
Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted who also went to greet the president took a coronavirus test and his results came back negative.
DeWine is the second governor who has tested positive for the coronavirus. In July, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tested positive for the Chinese virus.
As governor, DeWine has been one of the most aggressive governors at getting people to wear face coverings. On July 23, DeWine implemented a statewide mask mandate for all Ohio residents.
“Our preliminary data indicate that the rate of increase in new cases has slowed in the high-risk counties where masks are already mandated, so we are cautiously optimistic that things are heading in the right direction,” DeWine said. “We believe that requiring masks statewide will make a significant difference and will be key to making sure other counties do not progress to a higher level of increased spread.”
This week, DeWine extended his mask mandate to all K-12 students, who will now need to wear a face covering in class.
The Ohio Star requested further comment from the Governor’s Press Secretary Dan Tierney, but received no response before press time. The Office of the Governor has issued a media advisory that DeWine will hold a briefing Thursday at 4:30 p.m..
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]. Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.
Background Photo ” Burke Lakefront Airport” by Michael Barera. CC BY-SA 4.0.