OHIO — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and first lady Fran DeWine learned they were exposed to COVID-19 Monday evening after a staffer tested positive, according to the governor's office.

What You Need To Know

  • It's the second time the DeWines have been exposed to COVID in the last few months

  • They tested negative Thursday morning and will continue to be tested daily

  • State Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the DeWines are leading by example by taking precautions after being exposed, despite testing negative and being fully vaccinated along with receiving their boosters

They reportedly have no symptoms, tested negative for the virus Thursday morning and have postponed public events in the near future. They will be tested daily. 

This is the second time in nearly two months the DeWines have had to quarantine. In early November, two staffers tested positive for the virus and the DeWines went into quarantine, also canceling in-person events. 

"I think that one thing that we're seeing is that once again, as he's done throughout the course of this pandemic, the governor is leading by example," Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said at a press briefing Thursday. "And so you see that he became aware of a potential contact, and he has taken decisive action to put himself into quarantine and show that he is doing exactly what we're asking everyone to do who unfortunately might have a contact."

Vanderhoff said this also goes to show that the virus is becoming more and more contagious, and it's ability to spread to more people quickly is increasing. 

"I think it just simply underlines how important it is for all of us to take the appropriate steps. Personal responsibility is a very important part of making any community, any society, work really, really well," Vanderhoff said. "How do we take the steps that we we can take to protect ourselves and each other and, you know, for some people, there may be reasons they can't receive the vaccine, but there are other steps that we can all take regardless."

Both of them are fully vaccinated and have received their boosters.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been increasing in Ohio and across the country. Ohio reported a backlog of cases Wednesday of more than 10,500. About 840 of them were a part of a reporting delay, but that means ODH documented a single-day increase of 9.700 new cases. The state also reported 486 more hospitalizations and 50 ICU admissions, all jumping above the 21-day averages.