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.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
Unassigned00
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