COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In a second test administered Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested negative for COVID-19. First Lady Fran DeWine and staff members also all tested negative for COVID-19, according to the governor’s office.
The negative test came on the same day Gov. DeWine tested positive after he took a test for COVID-19 as part of the standard protocol to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland.
A PCR test was administered to him and members of his staff Thursday afternoon.
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.
“We feel confident in the results from Wexner Medical Center,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “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.”
The test administered Thursday morning to the governor in Cleveland was an antigen test.
“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,” according to the statement. “We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred.”
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.