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August 10, 2020

Around the nation: Ohio governor tests positive and negative for the coronavirus—in the same day

Daily Briefing

    Gov. Mike DeWine's initial positive coronavirus test result came hours before he was scheduled to meet with President Trump, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Georgia, and Ohio.

    • District of Columbia: The Cruise Lines International Association last week announced that it is suspending cruise line operations in the United States through October due to recent coronavirus outbreaks on ships overseas. The announcement comes after CDC in March extended its no-sail order for the United States through Sept. 30 (Durbin, Associated Press, 8/5).

    • Georgia: CDC on Wednesday issued a warning against ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers, following reports of posinings from the products across the United States. According to CDC, poison control centers in Arizona and New Mexico in May and June reported 15 cases of methanol poisoning tied to people swallowing hand sanitizer. Four of those patients died and three were discharged from the hospital with visual impairments. FDA in July issued a consumer alert warning that methanol is not an acceptable ingredient in hand sanitizers, and the agency has released a list of hand sanitizer products that contain methanol (Wise, The Hill, 8/5; Vigdor, New York Times, 8/5).

    • Ohio: On Thursday, hours before Gov. Mike DeWine (R) was scheduled to meet with President Trump, DeWine was tested for the coronavirus via a rapid antigen test and received a positive result, preventing him from meeting with Trump. However, DeWine later tested negative for the virus when he took a polymerase chain reaction test—currently the most commonly used test in America—on Thursday and again on Saturday. DeWine on Sunday cautioned that "people should not take away from [his] experience that testing is not reliable or doesn't work," but rather that " an antigen test … should be looked at as a screening test." DeWine added that Ohio officials will be "very careful in how we use" the antigen test (Mervosh, New York Times, 8/6; Coleman, The Hill, 8/9; Axios, 8/9).

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