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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Tests Positive For COVID-19

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was in Cleveland in March to give an update at MetroHealth Medical Center on the state's preparedness and education efforts to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. [Tony Dejak / AP]
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine at MetroHealth Medical Center

Updated: 10:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020 to note that the governor's second test was negative for the virus.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has tested positive for COVID-19.

He will discuss the issue at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in an address to be broadcast live on 90.3 WCPN and the Ohio Channel. You can watch a livestream at ideastream.org.

According to his communications office, DeWine was tested as part of the standard protocol for a planned meet-and-greet with President Donald Trump at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland Thursday afternoon. Trump is visiting a Northeast Ohio manufacturing plant and holding an evening fundraiser.

"We want to wish him the best," the president said on the tarmac in Cleveland. "He'll be fine. I guess he's going for a secondary test. I just said, 'I look forward to seeing the governor.' They said, 'Sir, he just tested positive.'"

DeWine is feeling no symptoms and will return to Columbus with his wife, Fran, where both will be tested, according to his communications office.

Following that, the Dewines plan to quarantine in their Cedarville home for 14 days.


Lt. Gov. John Husted also was tested and was negative for COVID-19.

Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper released this statement after the Republican governor tested positive: “We are saddened to hear of Gov. Mike DeWine’s test result. We know how hard he’s been working to keep Ohioans safe, and this is just one more reminder that this virus can impact everyone.”

DeWine, 73, was an early champion of public health measures meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. His order shutting down all but essential businesses early on drew complaints from those who saw it an overreaction. More recently, he has mandated masks be worn in public in Ohio and has ordered bars to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m., in an effort to help keep establishments open while discouraging unsafe, close socilaizing.

The governor adopted mask wearing in public early in the pandemic and often says he is careful not to get close to his grandchildren on visits as a safety precaution.

A frequent critic of DeWine's policies regarding COVID-19, State Rep. Nino Vitale, seized on the news on Facebook with a post that included a photograph of the governor wearing a mask.

"While I certainly wish no ill will nor poor health on the governor," Vitale wrote on Facebook Thursday. "I think the question must be asked. Has he not been wearing a mask, or do masks not stop the spread?"

Mike McIntyre is the executive editor of Ideastream Public Media.