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coronavirus testing

On Feb. 6, a scientist in a small infectious disease lab on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention campus in Atlanta was putting a coronavirus test kit through its final paces. The lab designed and built the diagnostic test in record time, and the little vials that contained necessary reagents to identify the virus were boxed up and ready to go. But NPR has learned the results of that final quality control test suggested something troubling — it said the kit could fail 33% of the time.

Ohio Department of Health / coronavirus.ohio.gov

With most of the drama of the election over, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says Ohioans have to focus on shutting down the spread of COVID-19.  

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has high praise for colleges and universities  that have brought down their COVID-19 positivity rate, but he wants to see residential schools use testing to get a better picture of the rate of infection on their campus. 

The state is pausing a widespread COVID-19 testing program at assisted living facilities due to what Goveror Mike DeWine calls "inconsistent results" with the baseline saliva kits.

Updated Thursday at 4:55 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has stirred confusion and concern by rewriting its guidelines for coronavirus testing. Public health experts fear the revised guidelines will lead to less testing – something the president has repeatedly asked for — but the administration denies that.

State health officials Tuesday reported 777 new cases of COVID-19 and ten new deaths. 

Ohio Public Radio

The state has entered into an agreement with a company to provide COVID-19 testing for every assisted living facility in Ohio.

npr.org

The City of Dublin is offering a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in partnership with Franklin County Public Health.  

Dan Skinner talks with Washington Post reporters Anne Gearan and Brittany Shammas about reporting they have done at the nexus of Ohio and the national response to COVID-19. Topics include Gov. DeWine's false positive test for COVID-19, efforts to push back against misinformation about COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and school reopening discussions. 

***LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE***

cnn.com

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine told CNN Sunday he and First Lady Fran DeWine tested negative on Sauturday for COVID-19. 

Ohio Public Radio

There have been over a thousand new confirmed coronavirus cases in each of the last four days in Ohio, and Friday’s 33 confirmed new deaths is the highest number in a week.

Six states led by a bipartisan group of governors are joining together in an effort to speed up coronavirus testing. As the nation's death count continues to rise above 150,000, the states said they will jointly purchase 3 million rapid antigen tests that can quickly detect the virus.

Associated Press

The director of Ohio's prison system has announced that she has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Public health experts generally agree that, in spite of improvements, the U.S. still falls short on the testing needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The official who oversees the country's testing efforts, however, maintains the U.S. is doing well on testing now and will soon be able to expand testing greatly using newer, point-of-care tests that deliver quick results.

Republican Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder has reinstituted the “work from home” policy his office had in place during the early days of the pandemic.

Ohio Department of Health / coronavirusohio.gov

Franklin County is one of seven counties that scored highest  on color-coded coronavirus risk map of Ohio unveiled today. 

Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Governor Mike Dewine says he is not ordering increased restrictions on businesses.  

Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says the number of cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, which had been trending upward in the past week, took a sharp jump up in the past 24 hours, with 892 additional cases.  

The Trump administration is defending plans to close 13 federally run coronavirus testing sites in five states at the end of the month.

The testing sites are located in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas. They are the last of 41 federally operated testing sites.

Federal officials say the sites have been closing or transferring to state or local control because it's more efficient to run testing that way. In other instances they argue there are readily available testing sites nearby.

Ohio Public Radio

While President Trump has suggested slowing down COVID-19 testing, Ohio Governor DeWine says increased testing is one way of slowing the increase of COVID-19 cases as the economy begins to reopen. 

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

At a hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and other federal officials said that no one had told them — including President Trump — to slow down testing for the coronavirus. The statements came after Trump has repeatedly said that more testing would lead to more infections being revealed.

As much of the country presses forward with reopening, a growing number of cities and states are finding that the coronavirus outbreak now has a foothold in a younger slice of the population, with people in their 20s and 30s accounting for a larger share of new coronavirus infections.

Ohio Department of Health

Governor Mike DeWine says the state as a whole has seen a steady decrease in cases of COVID-19.

An NPR survey of state health departments shows that the national coronavirus contact tracing workforce has tripled in the past six weeks, from 11,142 workers to 37,110. Yet given their current case counts, only seven states and the District of Columbia are staffed to the level that public health researchers say is needed to contain outbreaks.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many scientists who usually have nothing to do with viruses or infectious disease are turning their attention to COVID-19. For example, one wildlife biologist is raising questions about the accuracy of tests that detect the coronavirus.

coronavirusohio.gov

Six pop-up testing sites will open around Columbus on Friday, part of the state's effort to identify potential COVID-19 hotspots with more aggressive testing. 

The Trump administration's testing czar announced Monday that he will be leaving that position in mid-June.

Adm. Brett Giroir told a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS that he will be "demobilized" from his role overseeing coronavirus testing at FEMA in a few weeks and going back to his regular post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

An HHS spokesperson confirmed the plan for Giroir to stand down from his role and indicated that there are no plans to appoint a new "head of efforts" for coronavirus testing.

The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a new analysis shows the agency's delayed rollout of coronavirus testing did not hinder the nation's response to the pandemic.

The coronavirus didn't start spreading in the U.S. until late January or early February, the CDC analysis found, and it circulated at low levels for quite some time.

As a result, the availability of earlier widespread testing for the virus would not have been able to spot it, according to CDC Director Robert Redfield.

OFFICE OF GOV. MIKE DEWINE

Ohio is taking the first steps to lift the more than two month old ban on visits to some long-term care facilities. Officials says they want to expand this in stages.

Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.

The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person's blood rather than the virus itself.

The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.

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