Gov. Greg Gianforte tests positive for COVID-19

The governor received his first COVID-19 vaccine on April 1

Gov. Greg Gianforte speaks after being sworn in to office on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 in the Governor's Reception Room of the Montana State Capitol. (Photo by Thom Bridge of the Helena Independent Record)

Just days after receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Greg Gianforte tested positive for the virus and will be isolated for 10 days, according to a press release sent Monday by his office.

The governor was experiencing mild symptoms on Sunday and was tested out of an “abundance of caution,” the release said. It is unclear if he received the positive test result Sunday or Monday.

It can take one to 14 days for people to start experiencing symptoms after being infected with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The governor visited with lawmakers on the floor last Thursday; all individuals the GOP governor had close contact with have been notified, the news release said.

The Governor’s Office did not immediately respond to a question about the extent of contacts Gianforte had in recent days. However, the governor had no public events scheduled Monday, April 5.

Gianforte will continue in his role as governor from his home in Bozeman, according to the release.

The first lady did not exhibit any symptoms but was also tested and is waiting for her results, the news release said. The release also said the governor’s staff will be tested Tuesday morning as a precautionary measure.

In early February, Gianforte ended the state-wide mask mandate, although he himself has worn a mask in public. He also overhauled the state’s vaccination distribution plan.

Gianforte has consistently touted the state’s downward trend in hospitalizations and active cases as he rolled back regulations around the state.

The governor has called the vaccine the light at the end of the tunnel for the coronavirus pandemic and has been vocal about its efficacy.

On April 1, under a directive from Gianforte, the state opened vaccine eligibility to all Montanans 16 and older.