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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Tests Positive, Then Negative For COVID-19

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was tested as part of a protocol to meet with President Trump. His first test result was positive but the second was negative.
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was tested as part of a protocol to meet with President Trump. His first test result was positive but the second was negative.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Hours after announcing he had tested positive for COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Thursday evening that a second test for the virus came back negative.

DeWine announcedthat he was administered an antigen test in the morning and a PCR test in the afternoon, and was more confident in the results of the latter.

PCR tests for the governor, members of his staff and First Lady Fran DeWine were run twice, he said, and came back negative both times.

"We do not have much experience with antigen tests here in Ohio," DeWine said. "We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred."

The governor and first lady plan to have another PCR test on Saturday, "out of an abundance of caution and at the discretion of medical professionals," and will release the results of those tests.

PCR, or diagnostic, tests are generally considered to be the most reliable testing option, as NPR's Richard Harris has reported. Antigen tests, which first gained FDA clearance in May, are not expected to be as accurate as diagnostic tests but can be used to screen patients for infection.

DeWine was tested on Thursday morning as part of a protocol to meet with President Trump, who he had been scheduled to meet with at the Burke Lakefront Airport tarmac in Cleveland.

In a statement announcing the positive test result, DeWine's office said the governor was showing no symptoms and would quarantine at his home for 14 days.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was also tested on Thursday morning. His test returned negative.

Just one governor is known to have contracted the coronavirus. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a fellow Republican, tested positive for the virus in July.

As of Wednesday, Ohio had 96,305coronavirus cases. Nearly 3,600 people in the state have died as a result.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.
Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.
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