Harvey Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus in prison

Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for coronavirus, the head of New York state’s corrections officers union confirmed to Reuters on Sunday.

The disgraced film mogul’s diagnosis was first reported earlier in the day by the Niagara Gazette. At the time of the Gazette’s report, Weinstein’s team told HuffPost that it had not been informed of any positive test result for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Weinstein, who is starting his 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault, was transferred last week to Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison near Buffalo, New York. He previously had been splitting time between New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail and a Manhattan hospital.

The disgraced film mogul’s diagnosis was confirmed by Michael Powers, the president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association.

Michael Powers, the president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, told Reuters that Weinstein was placed in isolation at Wende Correctional Facility.

Powers also expressed concern for the corrections officers who had come into contact with Weinstein. The officers lacked proper protective equipment, Powers said, adding that several staff members were now quarantined. 

The board that oversees New York City’s jail system said Saturday that at least 28 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the city’s jails, including at Rikers. At least 58 other people were being monitored in contagious disease and quarantine units, Board of Correction interim chairwoman Jacqueline Sherman wrote in a letter to criminal justice leaders.

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Harvey Weinstein arrives in court in Dec. 2019
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Harvey Weinstein arrives in court in Dec. 2019
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Movie producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at criminal court on December 11, 2019 in New York City. Weinstein returned to court for a ruling on whether he will remain free on bail or if his bail will be raised to $5 million before his trial starts January 6 . (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Movie producer Harvey Weinstein departs from criminal court after a bail hearing on December 11, 2019 in New York City. Weinstein was in court for a ruling on whether he will remain free on bail or if his bail will be raised to $5 million before his trial starts January 6. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein leaves Manhattan Criminal Court, using a walker, following a hearing on December 11, 2019 in New York. - The once-powerful film producer, whose case sparked the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, appeared for a hearing, as his trial looms on January 6, 2010. The 67-year-old, who faces charges of rape and forcibly performing oral sex on a woman, has had his passport confiscated and wears an electronic tracking bracelet. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein leaves Manhattan Criminal Court, using a walker, following a hearing on December 11, 2019 in New York. - The once-powerful film producer, whose case sparked the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, appeared for a hearing, as his trial looms on January 6, 2010. The 67-year-old, who faces charges of rape and forcibly performing oral sex on a woman, has had his passport confiscated and wears an electronic tracking bracelet. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein leaves Manhattan Criminal Court, using a walker, following a hearing on December 11, 2019 in New York. - The once-powerful film producer, whose case sparked the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, appeared for a hearing, as his trial looms on January 6, 2010. The 67-year-old, who faces charges of rape and forcibly performing oral sex on a woman, has had his passport confiscated and wears an electronic tracking bracelet. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein leaves Manhattan Criminal Court using a walker, following a hearing on December 11, 2019 in New York. - The once-powerful film producer, whose case sparked the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, appeared for a hearing, as his trial looms on January 6, 2010. The 67-year-old, who faces charges of rape and forcibly performing oral sex on a woman, has had his passport confiscated and wears an electronic tracking bracelet. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein leaves Manhattan Criminal Court using a walker, following a hearing on December 11, 2019 in New York. - The once-powerful film producer, whose case sparked the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, appeared for a hearing, as his trial looms on January 6, 2010. The 67-year-old, who faces charges of rape and forcibly performing oral sex on a woman, has had his passport confiscated and wears an electronic tracking bracelet. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
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“The best path forward to protecting the community of people housed and working in the jails is to rapidly decrease the number of people housed and working in them,” Sherman wrote.

Weinstein, 68, has a history of poor health. He was hospitalized earlier this month after suffering a mild heart attack, according to his spokesman. He also suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical conditions.

His lawyer, Imran Ansari, told Reuters he was “concerned” about reports of Weinstein’s coronavirus diagnosis.

“Given Mr. Weinstein’s state of health, we are of course concerned, if this is the case, and we are vigilantly monitoring the situation,” Ansari said.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPostDominique Mosbergen contributed to this report.
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