Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has tested positive for COVID-19, his office confirmed Monday in a press release.

Gianforte experienced mild symptoms Sunday and was tested for COVID-19 “out of an abundance of caution,” the governor’s office stated in a press release shared with multiple news outlets. Montana’s first lady Susan Gianforte, who has experienced no symptoms, was also tested and is awaiting her results.

The governor plans to isolate for 10 days following instructions from his doctor and public health guidance, according to the press release. All scheduled in-person events have been canceled “until further notice,” and he plans to work from his home in Bozeman.

Gianforte’s staff was also tested early Tuesday morning “as a precautionary measure,” though both the governor and his staff have been routinely tested since he took office in January, according to the press release.

The governor also notified all individuals with whom he may have had close contact. A spokesperson for his office told NBC Montana it is unclear how Gianforte was exposed to COVID-19 as he has held no public events since last Thursday. His close contacts included a staff member, a member of his protective detail and family members he had dinner with. (RELATED: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp In Quarantine After COVID-19 Exposure)

The spokesperson also confirmed he attended Easter services at his church Sunday, though he was not experiencing symptoms at the time and had no close contacts from church other than family members.

Gianforte received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last week. He shared a promotional video on social media of him receiving the injection.

The governor also issued an executive order March 30 expanding vaccine eligibility to all residents over the age of 16. Roughly one-fifth of Montanans are fully vaccinated according to state health data.

Although the governor was partly immunized, the COVID-19 vaccine takes up to several weeks to be fully effective and it is possible an individual could be infected just after vaccination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.