WASHINGTON — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on Thursday before he was supposed to meet President Donald Trump for his arrival in Cleveland.
“Ohio Governor Mike DeWine took a test for COVID-19 as part of the standard protocol to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Governor DeWine tested positive. Governor DeWine has no symptoms at the present time.”
The statement came at around the same time that Trump took off on Air Force One from Joint Base Andrews near Washington.
DeWine, 73, is returning to Columbus, where he will be further tested along with his wife, Fran DeWine, who also has no symptoms, the statement said.
The Republican governor “plans to follow protocol for COVID-19 and quarantine at his home in Cedarville for the next 14 days,” it said, adding that Lt. Governor Jon Husted also took the COVID-19 test as part of the protocol to greet the president and tested negative.
Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks on economic prosperity from Cleveland in the afternoon, tour the Whirlpool Corp. manufacturing plant in the town of Clyde, and participate in a fundraising committee reception in the village of Bratenahl.
A few weeks ago, the White House coronavirus task force warned that the number of COVID-19 cases in Columbus were significantly increasing. So far, there have been more than 96,000 positive cases and nearly 3,600 coronavirus deaths in the state.
Last month, DeWine issued a travel warning for people entering Ohio from certain states and a statewide mask order that requires people to wear face coverings in public, exempting children under age 10, along with some other exceptions.
DeWine is the second governor to test positive for coronavirus, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, also a Republican, who tested positive for the virus in mid-July.
Late last month, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who has refused to wear a mask, tested positive for the coronavirus before he was expected to travel with Trump to Texas. Multiple lawmakers have tested positive for the coronavirus since the outbreak hit the U.S. earlier this year.