COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – A second coronavirus test given to Governor Mike DeWine in Columbus on Thursday afternoon has come back negative. This follows a positive test administered to the governor earlier in the day as he prepared to greet President Donald Trump in Cleveland.
First Lady Fran DeWine and other staff members also tested negative.
PCR tests, which look for genetic material specific for the virus that causes COVID-19, were run two times for the Governor, First Lady, and staff. Results were negative both times.
Out of an abundance of caution, and at the direction of medical professionals, the Governor and First Lady plan on having another PCR test on Saturday. Results of these tests will also be released.
The test given to the governor in Cleveland, as part of protocol required to meet the president, was an antigen test. State officials say they will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred.
The Governor’s Office initially said DeWine had no symptoms but during an update around 4:30 p.m., DeWine said a headache was the only potential symptom he was experiencing, but added he often gets headaches.
Before the negative test, DeWine also said he was not sure where he would’ve become infected as he takes every precaution. He said he rarely goes out in public and when he does, he always wears a masks, and practices social distancing.
“We know you’re always dealing with simply trying to improve your odds,” said DeWine. “When you wear a mask, you’re improving your odds dramatically. That does not mean that you won’t get it. You restrict the number of people that you see, that improves your odds dramatically. But, it simply does not mean that (you won’t get it.) There are no guarantees, no guarantees in life.”
DeWine also said that if his result came back negative, it would not impact increased testing going on in the state.
“We’re not stopping to make sure more testing is available,” DeWine said. “Six weeks ago, five weeks ago, we were at about 8,000 tests a day, we’re now averaging about 22,000 tests a day.”
DeWine is 73 years old and said he has been diagnosed with asthma but said it’s under control.
Officials said Lt. Governor Jon Husted also took the COVID-19 test Thursday as part of the protocol to greet the president. Husted tested negative, according to the governor’s office.
President Trump spoke on the airport tarmac in Cleveland after landing Thursday afternoon.
“A very good friend of mine just tested positive,” said Trump. “Our great governor, Governor of Ohio, DeWine just tested positive, just here. And we want to wish him the best.”
He then praised the work of Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman also released a statement on DeWine’s initial diagnosis, saying:
“Jane and I were saddened to hear that Governor DeWine tested positive for COVID-19. We are hopeful that he will continue to have no symptoms and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery. I spoke with him yesterday about the ongoing COVID-19 response at the federal and state level and I’m certain he’ll continue to lead a strong and safe reopening of Ohio while following the proper protocols and quarantining at home in Cedarville. I hope everyone will support his recovery by continuing to do their part to slow the spread by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. I will continue to work closely with him to support our health care system, our schools, our local governments, our employers, and all Ohio families during the ongoing pandemic.”U.S. Senator Rob Portman