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Gov. Gianforte tests positive for COVID-19

by Associated Press
| April 6, 2021 8:00 AM

BOZEMAN (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has continued to show mild systems after testing positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Gianforte's office disclosed Monday evening that he had been tested after experiencing unspecified symptoms a day earlier.

His office said he notified all of his close contacts since his last public event on Thursday. Those contacts were with a staff member, a member of his security detail, family members, and friends whom he had dinner with, spokesperson Brooke Stroyke said.

Gianforte received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Thursday and had been tested regularly since he was sworn into office in January. Vaccinations can take some time before they are fully effective.

First lady Susan Gianforte has not exhibited symptoms but was also tested and was awaiting results.

Gianforte planned to isolate for 10 days on the advice of his doctor and public health guidance. All of his in-person events have been canceled. But he will "continue to conduct his duties and manage the state's business from his home in Bozeman," his office said in a statement.

His staff was to be be tested for the virus Tuesday.

Since taking office in January, Gianforte has lifted a mask mandate imposed by his predecessor and eased other restrictions intended to curb the spread of the virus. He's touted personal responsibility and had kept a mask mandate in place for his own office.

After receiving his vaccine Thursday, he posted a social media statement saying the vaccine was "safe effective and accessible to all Montanans 16 and older."

Montana has tallied just over 105,000 positive tests for COVID-19 with at least 1,466 deaths. Montana has just over 1,000 active cases, including 317 in Gallatin County. Forty-four people are hospitalized, according to state reports.

Montana has also administered over 525,000 doses of vaccine with nearly 211,000 residents being fully immunized.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.