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Second Montana lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19

Legislative response panel meeting Tuesday
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Posted at 4:47 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 18:54:51-05

HELENA — A second Montana legislator has tested positive for COVID-19 during the 2021 session, Republican leadership announced late Monday.

Rep. Fiona Nave, R-Columbus, revealed that she received a positive test for the virus Monday, according to Sen. Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, who is the chair of the Legislative Leadership COVID-19 Response Panel.

Ellsworth said that Nave has not yet attended the session in-person at the Capitol since it began last Monday and has been working remotely.

“As we continue through the legislative session during the pandemic, remote participating remains available for all legislators and members of the public,” he said in a statement.

Last Thursday, Rep. David Bedey, a Republican from Hamilton, became the first lawmaker to announce that he’d tested positive for the virus since the session began. Bedey had been at the Capitol, wearing a mask, but has since quarantined himself and worked remotely.

The COVID-19 Response Panel plans to meet for its second time Tuesday. Ellsworth said Monday the panel “will continue implementing our plans and precautions for the session.”

But Democrats on the panel have said they don’t consider GOP plans to be adequate or effective, and have voted against them or disagreed with them.

House Minority Leader Kim Abbott, D-Helena, said last week that she would be bringing suggestions for a more comprehensive plan to Tuesday’s meeting.