Montana Public Radio

Sixth Montana Lawmaker Contracts COVID-19

Mar 23, 2021

A sixth Montana lawmaker has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a news release from GOP leadership, the lawmaker did not authorize his or her name to be released, as has happened with other lawmakers who have contracted the virus. The GOP press release said the unnamed lawmaker is in quarantine away from the Capitol. 

The latest case in the Montana statehouse comes as the Idaho Legislature remains closed for two weeks due to COVID-19 cases. Eight Idaho lawmakers have tested positive there since January. 

In Montana, tracing of close contacts of those who test positive has been underway since February. Lawmakers have been able to get tested and receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Capitol if they meet distribution requirements. 

When Montana lawmakers were debating the rules that govern the legislative session in December, Republicans declined to adopt public health safety measures proposed by Democrats, like a mask mandate or working all-remote. 

Instead, lawmakers adopted a hybrid option to allow participation via video chat and created a panel to respond to virus-related issues. The COVID-19 response panel last met on Jan. 14.