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COVID case reported at the Montana State Legislature

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Posted at 8:10 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 10:10:56-05

HELENA — The State Legislature’s COVID-19 Panel Presumptive Chair Jason Ellsworth made the announcement Thursday evening that Representative David Bedey, R-Hamilton, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is already quarantining away from the State Capitol. He is currently asymptomatic.

“We’re already reaching out and notifying those who have recently been in close contact with Representative Bedey and are telling them to quarantine.” Ellsworth said. “I’m releasing Rep. Bedey’s name because he wanted to be as transparent and informative as possible.”

The Legislature says Bedey came into contact with the virus via a non-legislative, non-Capitol contact that occurred prior to the start of the session. He's a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which met this week.

“We’re already reaching out and notifying those who have recently been in close contact with Representative Bedey and are telling them to quarantine.” Ellsworth said. “I’m releasing Rep. Bedey’s name because he wanted to be as transparent and informative as possible.”

Ellsworth added Bedey has been wearing a mask to help protect the safety of others and contacted leadership and Lewis and Clark Public Health immediately after the positive COVID test.

"Representative Bedey is a model that I encourage others to follow,” said Ellsworth.

Bedey issued the following statement regarding his COVID-19 positive test:

"I continue to believe that the most effective way to serve in the legislature is in person. But I also have a duty to my colleagues to do what I can to promote their safety. I will do my best to do the people's business remotely and look forward to returning to the Capitol."

The Legislature’s COVID-19 Panel meets Friday morning and will be further discussing COVID-19 protocols during the legislative session.