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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for COVID-19

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday before he was supposed to greet President Donald Trump.

DeWine took a COVID-19 test as part of the protocol to meet Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. Trump planned to tour the Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio, before attending a private fundraiser in Bratenahl.

DeWine, 73, has no symptoms at the present time, according to a news release. He is returning to Columbus where he and First Lady Fran DeWine will both be tested.

DeWine plans to quarantine at his home in Cedarville for the next 14 days.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted also took the COVID-19 test but tested negative.

DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said it was not known Thursday where the governor contracted the virus. 

“He’s been communicating remotely,” Tierney said. “He’s kept the circle small on other staff.”

Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine at a coronavirus briefing on June 23, 2020. (Photo: Office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine)

DeWine isn’t the first governor to test positive for COVID-19. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced he had the disease several weeks ago. Last month, DeWine’s state prisons’ director, Annette Chambers-Smith, announced she received a positive COVID-19 test result after feeling slight symptoms.

DeWine took some of the earliest aggressive action to combat the spread of COVID-19 in his state, one of the first five governors to close bars, restaurants, and wineries in March. 

During the first few months of the pandemic, Ohio was reported as an early success story. The state gradually lifted its stay-at-home order throughout May and June and saw a plateau in newly reported cases, as well as a decline in hospitalizations. 

In recent weeks, however, cases began to surge, with the state reporting more than 1,000 new cases per day for most of July. 

“We’re going the wrong way,” Dewine said of the uptick in cases to NBC’s Meet the Press last month.

“We are at a crucial stage. We are at the point where we could become Florida,” he said, issuing a statewide mask mandate in late July. 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/06/ohio-gov-mike-dewine-tests-positive-covid-19/3309769001/



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