DeWine, health officials announce Ohio’s testing protocol for COVID-19


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine has announced the Ohio Department of Health can now test for COVID-19 in its labs.

The governor made the announcement Saturday along with state health officials.

Gov. DeWine said the test results would come back within eight to 24 hours.

“As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the Ohio Department of Health, working in conjunction with hospitals, primary care providers, and other health care experts, has a plan to maximize our testing resources. We are prioritizing the patients who are the most vulnerable to be tested in the Department of Health’s State Laboratory, while ensuring those that need COVID-19 testing will be able to be tested,” Gov. DeWine said.

There are still no confirmed cases in the state, but five people are currently under investigation for the virus. Additionally, nine people have tested negative for the virus.

For those who are hospitalized and meet the following criteria, samples will be sent to the state lab:

  • Have a fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness, (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) and have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset.
  • Have a fever and signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness, and a history of travel from affected geographic areas with widespread or sustained community transmission within 14 days of symptom onset.
  • Have a fever with severe acute lower respiratory illness and lack of alternative diagnosis (e.g., negative respiratory viral panel, negative rapid flu).

Those who meet the criteria but are not hospitalized are asked to call a physician or other healthcare provider.

If a provider determines, a COVID-19 test is necessary, samples will be sent to private labs who have the capability to test.

LabCorp already has the ability to test and Quest Diagnostics will be able to test next week.

Gov. DeWine added that hospitals in the state could begin testing within the next couple of weeks.

The Ohio Department of Health will continue to confirm all positive tests, regardless of where testing took place.

The Ohio Department of Health will be updating its website at 2 p.m. daily.

The Ohio Department of Health call center is open all week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to answer questions regarding COVID-19. The call center can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).


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