WAUKESHA – Top Wakesha County Government Leader Tests COVID-19.

County Executive Director Paul Farrow confirmed in the middle of Friday afternoon that he was at least battling a disease that has increased his power across the state, where record daily levels of positive tests have been reported.

Farrow said his trial began a week earlier when a family member was positive after an illness that prompted Farrow to self-quarantine at home initially as a precaution.

“As soon as I was told they were feeling unwell, I quarantined myself and started working from home to avoid the possibility of the virus spreading to the community,” he said in a statement Friday. “A few days later, I also developed mild symptoms and contact was monitored. Today I received a positive test for COVID-19.”

As a result, he continues to follow the instructions of the county health department, based on the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, which continues to be behind the control of the pandemic at the local level.

Follow COVID-19 in Wisconsin: See the latest figures and trends

“Simple tools for self-quarantine, testing and tracking contacts are extremely effective, and I encourage all residents to use them if they start to feel unwell to protect our most vulnerable friends and family members from this virus,” Farrow said.

He added: “I am grateful for the support of the community and I expect a full recovery. I will isolate until then.”

Farrow did not point out that the problem was in any way related to the county’s central government campus itself, which houses all of the county’s departments and the vast majority of its staff. At least one county official has died from the virus.

The latest concerns about the coronavirus come months after county officials downplayed or did not prioritize mitigation efforts.

In July, Sheriff Eric Severson said his cabinet would not investigate or respond to reports of breaches of the mandate. In a July statement, Farrow himself also criticized Governor Tony Evers’ rule, saying “wearing masks goes too far.”

There are reports, unconfirmed so far, that COVID-19 has increased its presence in the courtroom. Reports indicate positive cases in the district attorney’s office, the sheriff’s office and courtroom staff.

The sheriff’s office, which found out if an MP was infected, responded only with “no comment”, citing private health problems.

Linda Wickstrom, a public information officer with the Department of Health and Humanitarian Services and the county’s Emergency Operations Center, said she was aware of an unusual concentration of coronavirus concerns on the Moreland Boulevard campus.

Calls to the county executive, the district attorney, and the court administrator were not returned immediately.

Contact Jim Riccioli at (262) 446-6635 or Follow him on @jariccioli’s Twitter.

Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to Journal Sentinel at

Automatic execution

Show thumbnails

Show captions

Last slide Next slide

Read or share this story: