Big Sky Roundup

Second lawmaker announces COVID-19 diagnosis

By: - January 11, 2021 4:32 pm

The Montana state capitol building in Helena. The statue in front of the capitol is Thomas Francis Meagher, an Irish revolutionary hero and the second territorial governor of the state. (Photo by Eric Seidle for the Daily Montanan)

Rep. Fiona Nave, a Republican from Columbus, has tested positive for COVID-19, the Legislature announced Monday afternoon.

Nave, the second legislator to come forward with a positive diagnosis, has not been at the state capitol in person since the legislative session began. She received her test results yesterday, according to an announcement from Sen. Jason Ellsworth, the chair of the the Legislature’s COVID-19 panel.

As with Rep. David Bedey, R-Hamilton, before her, the Legislature is releasing Nave’s name “because she authorized the COVID Panel to do so in the interest of transparency.”

Lawmakers on the coronavirus panel have not approved a formal, Legislature-wide information sharing process for positive COVID-19 diagnoses, giving those who test for the virus wide berth on what details about their status or contacts they choose to share publicly.

The Lewis and Clark County Board of Commissioners votes tomorrow on a contract for a contact tracer from the county to work part-time at the Legislature.

Dylan Klapmeier, a spokesman for the House GOP, declined to go into specifics on Nave’s condition but said she expects to be out of quarantine soon.

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Arren Kimbel-Sannit
Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Arren Kimbel-Sannit is an Arizona-bred journalist who has covered politics, policy and power building at every level of government. Before getting his dose of northern exposure, Arren worked as a reporter in all manner of Arizona newsrooms, for the Dallas Morning News and for POLITICO in Washington, D.C. He has a special interest in how land-use decisions affect working-class people, which he displayed through reporting on the epidemic of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. for the Los Angeles Times and PBS Newshour. He's also covered housing, agriculture, the Trump presidency and more.