Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

DeWine was tested as part of standard protocol Thursday as it prepared to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, according to a press release released Thursday afternoon by the office. of the governor.

Less than 10 hours after the initial announcement, DeWine announced that he had tested negative for the coronavirus. The second round of testing was done through a more sensitive test called a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR test, which detects genetic material from the new coronavirus, the governor’s office said. The previous test provides quick results by testing blood for antigens, but this is a relatively unproven technology.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who was also in Cleveland to greet the president, tested negative, according to the governor’s office. Trump is in Ohio to visit the Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Sandusky County and later hosts a fundraiser in Bratenahl.

DeWine is symptom-free and is returning to Columbus where he will be tested again, as is Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine, the governor’s office said. He will then travel to his home in Cedarville where he plans to quarantine himself for 14 days.

Husted, meanwhile, continued his plans to meet the president on the track.

DeWine will make himself available to the media by video conference at 4:30 p.m. today, the governor’s office announced later Thursday.

UPDATE: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says positive coronavirus test says he doesn’t know how he got it

DeWine is 73 years old, which puts him in a higher risk category for patients with coronavirus. He also has a history of breathing problems. He was hospitalized for six days in 2000 while serving in the United States Senate while being treated for asthma. He has suffered from respiratory problems since the age of 25 and receives inhaler medication, Toledo’s blade reported at the time.

DeWine becomes the second U.S. governor to test positive for COVID-19. Republican Governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, tested positive on July 15. He reported for work 12 days later and declared himself cured, according to Tulsa World.

DeWine, a Republican, has become a prominent player nationally for his cautious approach to the coronavirus, including being one of the early advocates of wearing face masks. In an attempt to encourage the public to get tested, he received a nasal swab on live television at the end of June as a demonstration. He tested negative the next day.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, DeWine, who once kept his calendar filled with photo opportunities, has limited public appearances as he tries to encourage social distancing. At the end of June, he visited the former General Motors factory in Lordstown, promoting the acquisition of the facility by a young electric vehicle company, at his first “normal” press conference in months.

Officials in the governor’s office said it was unlikely that many more staff would need to be quarantined following the governor’s positive test. DeWine travels to Columbus twice a week for his coronavirus briefings, but usually works from his home in Cedarville. Most of its employees also work from home. So the only other state officials DeWine would likely come in close contact with include Husted, his security department, and staff members who help with briefings, Tierney said.

“We do a tremendous amount of work with technology,” Tierney said. “The vast majority if not all of the governor’s staff work remotely.”

Sgt. Nathan Dennis, a spokesperson for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said state soldiers assigned to DeWine’s Personal Safety Department have been tested for COVID-19 and sent home for s ‘self-isolate while awaiting results.

“Right now, it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing how those results come back and following the guidelines,” he said.

The White House issued a statement in response to news of DeWine’s positive test.

“The President wishes Governor DeWine a speedy and full recovery and applauds the work he is doing for the great state of Ohio,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Trump also expressed his wishes to DeWine in a rally speech to a group of supporters huddled outside at the Burke Lakefront airport after arriving on Thursday.

Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, said he and his wife Jane are hopeful the governor “will continue to be symptom-free and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery.”

“I spoke to him yesterday about the ongoing response to COVID-19 at the federal and state levels and I am sure he will continue to lead a strong and safe reopening of Ohio while following proper protocols and quarantining at his home in Cedarville, ”Portman says. “I hope everyone will support her recovery by continuing to do their part to slow the spread by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.”

The Ohio Democratic Party is “saddened” to learn of the test result, Party Chairman David Pepper said in a statement.

“We know how hard he works to keep the people of Ohio safe, and this is just another reminder that this virus can affect anyone,” Pepper said. “As fellow Ohioans, we support and support our Governor and his family at this time.

Cleveland.com / Plain Dealer political reporter Seth Richardson contributed

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