CEDARVILLE — After being at home in Cedarville much of the day Thursday thinking he had COVID-19 after a positive test in Cleveland, Gov. Mike DeWine found out late that night that a second test was negative.
“A PCR test was administered to the Governor and members of his staff this afternoon,” a release from the state said. “The PCR test looks for the specific RNA for the SARS CoV-2 — in other words, the genetic material specific for the virus that causes COVID-19. This test is known to be extremely sensitive, as well as specific, for the virus. The PCR tests for the Governor, First Lady, and staff were run two times. They came back negative the first time and came back negative when they were run on a second diagnostic platform.”
The release said DeWine and his staff “feel confident in the results from Wexner Medical Center. This is the same PCR test that has been used over 1.6 million times in Ohio by hospitals and labs all over the state.”
Earlier in the day, DeWine was told he tested positive after taking an antigen test — which can have a quick turnaround time — prior to meeting with President Donald Trump, in Cleveland. After the result, DeWine returned to Columbus and was retested.
According to the release, these tests “represent an exciting new technology to reduce the cost and improve the turnaround time for COVID-19 testing, but they are quite new, and we do not have much experience with them here in Ohio. We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred.”
In a video chat with reporters from his home in Cedarville late Thursday afternoon DeWine said he was surprised at the positive test.
“I feel fine,” DeWine said. “Have a headache. I get a lot of headaches throughout my life.”
DeWine said he had “no idea” where he could have become infected.
“Basically everybody I’ve been around has had a mask on and I’ve had a mask on,” DeWine said. “And that’s been our protocol. It surprised me because … we’re not around very many people. With those people we had no sign that any of them had COVID. Fran and I have been staying at the house here in Cedarville since March.”
If the second test had come back positive, DeWine said he would quarantine for at least two weeks but still planned to run the state from Greene County, like he has been doing for months.
“Anybody who knows me knows that I’m going to continue to do what I do,” he said. “I spend most days right here anyway. I’m on the phone a lot. I’m on conference calls a lot.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.