MILWAUKEE -- State Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend after running a fever late last week, according to a news release Monday, March 23.
Rep. Bowen was placed in quarantine at home, and while he is still fighting symptoms, he is in good spirits and recuperating, the release said.
After learning of his diagnosis, Rep. Bowen released the following statement:
“I found out early last week from the Shorewood Health Department that I had come in contact with (an individual) who had tested positive for COVID-19, and immediately went into quarantine. Later in the week, I began showing symptoms myself, and got tested for COVID-19. Unfortunately, that test came back positive this weekend. 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. Had I known of my status even earlier, I would have reduced my exposure to others who may potentially have gotten the virus from me. Even if you are young and typically healthy, it's even more important that you heed the call to stay home, take care of your family, and not spread the virus to others who are vulnerable.”
FOX6 spoke with Bowen by phone Monday. While he noted he was feeling a bit better, he said the symptoms he first experienced were, at times, intense. The 33-year-old Assemblyman said this is a good reminder for young people to take their health seriously, and called on African-American men to make sure they're getting the medical attention they need.
"The majority of people who have passed away in Milwaukee County have been black men that have died from the coronavirus," said Rep. Bowen. "It's important to make sure that you are getting in contact with your primary health physician. Let them know that you're feeling those things so you are not suffering in silence, as well."
Gov. Tony Evers on Monday issued a "Safer at Home" order for Tuesday -- which will close businesses in Wisconsin that do not provide essential services through the COVID-19 crisis. This order will help ensure that individuals stay home and only go out in public to pick up essentials like groceries and medicine, or to go to the doctor.
“As of today, I am one of 182 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Milwaukee, and that number will only increase by the day," said Rep. Bowen in the 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 that has already claimed the lives of five people across our state, including three in Milwaukee County. I am thankful for the essential workers in health care and in the grocery and the delivery industries that are continuing to work and be away from their families to help serve us all. I am grateful to God I serve that I will be a part of the vast majority of cases where people who contract the virus will survive without it exacerbating other pre-existing conditions. May we all get the blessings, the lessons, and divine clarity destined to be gained during this trying time. We still have each other and let's not ever forget that!"
Bowen said he was still getting important work done from his Milwaukee County home, and communicating with his team in Madison. He asked that you stay home and limit your contact with others.