Tom Hanks, Wife Test Positive for Coronavirus

Highest-Profile Celebrity to Contract the Virus
March 11, 2020 Updated: March 27, 2020

Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, said they have tested positive for the new coronavirus, becoming the highest-profile celebrities to contract the mysterious new virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

In a statement on Wednesday night, the 63-year-old actor said, “Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive.”

He added, “Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We’ll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves!”

The couple is understood to be isolated at a hospital in the Gold Coast. Their son, Chet Hanks, posted a video message on Instagram telling fans that “[t]hey are both fine. They’re not even that sick.”

“They’re not worried about it, they’re not trippin’, but they’re going through the necessary health precautions, obviously,” Chet added. “I don’t think it anything to be too worried about. I think it’s all going to be alright.”

Hanks and Wilson were in Australia while he works on a new film with director Baz Luhrmann. According to a crew member, production has temporarily stopped on the big-budget Elvis movie at Village Roadshow’s Gold Coast studios, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that those who had taken photos and selfies with Hanks over the past few days should not panic about contracting the virus.

Warner Bros. also issued a statement to news outlets on the Academy Award-winner’s diagnosis.

“We have been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film, which is currently in pre-production in The Gold Coast, Australia, has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus),” said the statement.

“We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual. The health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world.”

Besides Queensland’s Gold Coast, Hanks has also been at Bondi Beach in Sydney, New South Wales on Sunday.

Hank’s wife, Rita Wilson, who is a singer and actress, performed at the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane’s South Bank last Thursday. The hotel’s general manager, Charles Martin, has reassured guests and hotel staff, saying that the room where Wilson performed and any associated areas have been cleaned, reported The Australian Broadcasting Corp.

More recently, Wilson performed at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday.

On Monday, Wilson visited Channel Nine’s studio in Sydney for a television appearance. Following Wilson’s coronavirus diagnosis, the broadcaster issued a statement saying that it “has taken action in line with our crisis response plan,” which “are in line with the guidelines set out by the Government and Health Authorities.”

“Those who were in prolonged contact with Ms Wilson have been tested and are self-isolating for 14 days,” a Channel Nine spokesperson said. “Our premises is currently being thoroughly cleaned in all areas she visited and we are encouraging our employees to monitor their health and practice good hygiene.”

Australia has about 128 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, while the United States has 1,220, according to data from Johns Hopkins University as of Wednesday night. The virus is believed to have emerged from mainland China in late 2019 before spreading to more than 100 other countries.

The World Health Organization declared the virus a global pandemic earlier in the day.

Symptoms include a cough, fever, respiratory problems, and shortness of breath. It can ultimately lead to pneumonia.

Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.