Ohio governor’s COVID-19 results show tests imperfections

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

The governor tested positive using a rapid test Thursday, before testing negative later in the day using a more sensitive laboratory-developed test.

Posted: Aug 7, 2020 4:53 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s positive-then-negative test results for the coronavirus are a reminder that no test is definitive.

The governor tested positive using a rapid test Thursday, before testing negative later in the day using a more sensitive laboratory-developed test.

He was tested because he was going to meet with President Donald Trump during his visit to the state.

No test for coronavirus infection is perfect, and test results can be affected by a variety of factors, including the type of test used, the quality of the sample and when it was taken during the course of any infection.

A look at the types of tests currently used to diagnose COVID-19:

ANTIGEN TEST

DeWine initially received an antigen test, a type of rapid test that uses similar technology for screening for flu, strep throat and other infections on small machines at doctor’s offices.

Instead of detecting the virus itself, such tests look for proteins, or antigens, found on the surface of the virus, which are generally considered a less accurate measure of infection.

The test, which uses a nasal swab, takes about 15 minutes.

The tests are relatively new in the U.S. and federal regulators have only allowed two on the market, from manufacturers Quidel and Becton Dickinson.

DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said a Quidel test was used for DeWine; a spokesman for Quidel said the company is looking into the matter.

The biggest risk with antigen tests is that they may deliver false negatives, missing real COVID-19 infections.

But they are considered very accurate for ruling out the virus when it is not present, making false positive results highly unlikely.

Some experts have been calling for increased use of antigen tests because they can be developed quickly, avoiding the delayed results frequently seen with higher-grade tests that must be shipped to a laboratory for processing.

GENETIC TEST

After testing positive with the antigen test, DeWine said he and his wife received a genetic, laboratory-developed test that came back negative.

This is the most commonly used test in the U.S. and is considered the gold standard for accuracy.

A nasal swab is mixed with chemicals to isolate any genetic material of coronavirus.

Laboratory equipment is used to amplify the material millions of times, until it is detectable with a computer.

These tests take several hours to process and are done at large laboratories, hospitals or universities.

They are considered the best method for both detecting whether the virus is present and ruling it out if there’s no infection.

A third type of test uses technology similar to the genetic test but speeds up the process dramatically to deliver results in about 15 minutes.

These tests done on small machines are used at the White House and at nursing homes to rapidly screen for the virus. But federal regulators consider them slightly less sensitive than the conventional laboratory test.

In either case, accuracy can be affected by a faulty nasal swab and where the person is in terms of the course of the infection.

Even the most accurate genetic test usually only begins detecting virus three to five days after initial infection, when levels are high enough to be picked up.

Scroll for more content...

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111505

Reported Deaths: 3506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20699758
Lake10217318
Elkhart6368109
St. Joseph604597
Allen5965200
Hamilton4676109
Vanderburgh334129
Hendricks2650122
Monroe240836
Johnson2257122
Tippecanoe221013
Clark211756
Porter205244
Cass19319
Delaware187061
Vigo176622
Madison157775
LaPorte136737
Floyd130361
Howard127563
Kosciusko119017
Bartholomew114957
Warrick114135
Marshall98524
Dubois94918
Boone94446
Hancock90542
Grant88233
Noble88132
Henry76324
Wayne73914
Jackson7349
Morgan69638
Shelby66529
Daviess64127
LaGrange63011
Dearborn62628
Clinton59112
Harrison56024
Putnam5329
Montgomery50521
Lawrence50328
Knox4869
White47914
Gibson4744
Decatur45339
DeKalb45011
Miami4243
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3822
Steuben3677
Scott35310
Sullivan32912
Jennings30912
Posey3020
Franklin29725
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll27013
Wabash2638
Washington2581
Whitley2526
Starke2517
Wells2472
Adams2443
Jefferson2433
Fulton2352
Huntington2213
Spencer2194
Tipton21722
Perry20913
Randolph2067
Jay1700
Newton17011
Owen1641
Martin1620
Rush1514
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1152
Pulaski1141
Blackford1132
Crawford1030
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 144309

Reported Deaths: 4615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25977603
Cuyahoga17092642
Hamilton12756308
Montgomery7501152
Lucas7119357
Butler563299
Summit5096249
Marion306347
Mahoning2991279
Warren291048
Stark2739168
Pickaway263344
Lorain226386
Delaware213520
Fairfield202050
Columbiana191980
Licking185762
Trumbull1848131
Clark172338
Wood170671
Clermont162620
Lake157649
Medina143038
Allen136767
Greene135228
Miami135049
Portage107466
Mercer105317
Tuscarawas91220
Wayne90166
Erie89944
Ross85622
Richland78419
Madison78012
Darke76039
Belmont70727
Geauga70347
Hancock6579
Ashtabula64348
Athens5972
Lawrence59418
Shelby5819
Auglaize5659
Sandusky55420
Putnam54123
Huron5237
Union4932
Ottawa46530
Scioto4646
Seneca43914
Preble42013
Holmes3717
Muskingum3712
Jefferson3184
Henry29712
Champaign2933
Logan2933
Perry2859
Defiance28110
Clinton27813
Knox27815
Brown2752
Hardin25013
Morrow2492
Washington24823
Fulton2341
Jackson2314
Coshocton23011
Fayette2256
Ashland2234
Highland2203
Crawford2186
Wyandot20112
Williams1983
Gallia18012
Meigs1729
Hocking1619
Pike1580
Guernsey1567
Carroll1507
Adams1214
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding1010
Harrison611
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 50°
Angola
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 50°
Huntington
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 44°
Van Wert
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 44°
Warming up for Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events