After announcing that he had tested positive for coronavirus earlier on Thursday afternoon, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office said that the governor received a negative result from a second more sensitive test for the virus later that night.
The first test was taken as protocol in preparation to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. After receiving a positive result, those plans were dashed. The first test DeWine took — the antigens test — delivers results within minutes, but it is generally seen as less accurate than the second PCR test that DeWine was administered later on Thursday.
The second round of testing was performed at Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, using the “extremely sensitive” polymerase chain reaction — a technique which detects genetic material from the novel coronavirus, the governor’s office said in a statement posted to its Twitter account late Thursday.
We 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.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) August 7, 2020
The statement added that while the earlier test DeWine took represented “an exciting new technology to reduce the cost and improve the turnaround time for COVID-19 testing,” it was “quite new” and the state was less experienced with its use.
The change in results is likely to further complicate public debate about COVID-19 testing and its accuracy.
“We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred,” the statement said.
Tests for the governor’s wife, Fran DeWine, and members of his staff have also all come back negative, the governor’s office said Thursday night.
According to the statement, DeWine and his wife will undergo another PCR test on Saturday “out of an abundance of caution.”