State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, announced on Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo courtesy 
Rep. Bowen's office)
State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, announced on Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo courtesy Rep. Bowen's office)

He is the first Wisconsin legislator confirmed to have the coronavirus ailment

State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, announced Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The lawmaker said in a statement that he has been in quarantine since last week, when the Shorewood Health Department told him he was in contact with a local official who tested positive. He took a test of his own and was found to be infected.

“While it isn’t clear whether I was infected by this individual or someone else within our community, one thing is certain — it is imperative that this virus be taken seriously and that individuals minimize social interactions and stay home to prevent further spread of this virus and its immobilizing symptoms,” Bowen said.

Bowen is the first state lawmaker to test positive for the virus. News of his infection comes days after Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced he is in self-quarantine due to contact with an individual with the virus.

As of Monday, 416 people in Wisconsin had tested positive, five had died, and 7,050 had tested negative, according to the state Department of Health Services. Almost half of the cases, 204, are in Milwaukee County. Three of the deaths occurred there.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday that he will issue a “Safer at Home” order, similar to shelter in place orders issued in other states. The order is meant to deter people from leaving their homes except for essentials such as groceries and medicine. 

Bowen praised Evers’ order in his statement.

“I am thankful the Governor’s administration has taken decisive action to make sure that people are staying home to mitigate the spread of this virus,” Bowen said.