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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

DeWine Gets Tested On Live TV While Pushing For Masks, More Testing

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says it is imperative for the state to ward off a spike of COVID-19 as the economy begins to reopen, one way of accomplishing that, according to DeWine, is to increase coronavirus testing.

DeWine says the state is working on increasing accessibility to COVID-19 testing, including pop-up testing sites.

As the governor notes, more testing could lead to revealing a higher number of cases. However, that's why DeWine says it's important to track the percentage of people who are testing positive, known as the positivity rate.

DeWine says that positivity rate has been between 4-6% since May, a stat he says he sees every day but isn't posted online.

"When I leave here today I'll go see exactly what we're putting up, I'll compare that with what I'm seeing, and we'll try to share more data," says DeWine.

On Tuesday, the state had conducted a total of 667,077 tests and reported a total of 42,767 cases. That shows a positivity rate of 6.4%.

The push from DeWine for more testing in Ohio comes as President Donald Trump suggested at a political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that he asked his staff to slow down coronavirus testing. White House officials later said the president was joking when he made those comments.

Watch: Gov. Mike DeWine gets tested for COVID-19 during statewide briefing.

To show the importance of testing, DeWine got tested for COVID-19 during his live statewide briefing on Tuesday along with First Lady Fran DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

DeWine says they're trying to increase awareness about the importance of masks, social distancing, and testing. Three ads will be running online and on television over the next week to help in that effort.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.