Harvey Weinstein has been put in isolation at a New York prison after allegedly testing positive for COVID-19.
The disgraced movie producer, who was recently sentenced to 23 years for rape and sexual assault, is one of two inmates at the Wende Correctional Facility in Western New York who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, The Niagara Gazette reported. He is now in medical isolation at the maximum-security prison.
Officials familiar with the situation—who reportedly spoke on the condition of anonymity—said it is believed Weinstein was positive when he entered Wende last Wednesday, having been transferred there from New York’s Rikers Island jail. Rikers is currently facing one of the worst reported coronavirus outbreaks in the whole of the United States, according to BuzzFeed News, with at least 38 people testing positive as of last week.
Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), refused to comment on Weinstein's situation due to privacy rules. He noted, however, that "there is no better breeding ground for this virus than a closed environment such as a correctional facility.”
The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision also declined to comment, telling BuzzFeed News that "the Department cannot comment on an individual’s medical record. However, we can confirm that two of the Department’s approximately 43,000 incarcerated individuals, both at Wende Correctional Facility, have confirmed cases.”
BuzzFeed nonetheless reported that they received confirmation of Weinstein’s COVID-19 positive status from “an official briefed on the matter.”
As of today, there are 32,640 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, nearly half of which are in New York.