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Sen. Van Burtenshaw, R-Terreton, is being released from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls today, after being hospitalized on Tuesday and listed in fair condition due to complications related to COVID-19. “He’s feeling much better,” said Burtenshaw’s wife, Joni. “He plans to return next week, probably the middle of the week when he’s cleared.” She added, “He’s very thankful for everyone that reached out to him with their concern and their prayers, and he’s looking forward to getting back to work.”

Two Idaho senators currently are out with COVID-19; Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, the co-chair of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, tested positive for the virus on Monday. One Senate attaché and three House staffers also have also tested positive since the legislative session started on Jan. 11, bringing the total reported cases at the Statehouse for the session thus far to six.

Both Burtenshaw and Bair have appointed former lawmakers from their districts to fill in for them this week. Burtenshaw’s sub is former Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton; and Bair’s is former state Rep. Julie Van Orden, R-Pingree.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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