The disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence, and is now said to be in isolation to prevent the illness from spreading throughout the prison.
He has been moved around between a few different facilities in recent weeks, but it seems that he will remain at the Wende Correctional Facility in the state of New York for now. Officials at the prison told the Niagara Gazette that two inmates at the prison tested positive for the virus. A spokesperson for Weinstein told The Sun that he had not been informed about his diagnosis.
Just after his conviction, Weinstein complained of chest pains and was receiving regular medical evaluations during his incarceration. He recently had heart surgery two weeks ago at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, which is now an epicenter for the virus in the United States, although it is not entirely clear when or where he contracted the illness.
All over the country, inmates are being released from prison under certain terms, which range from clemency to house arrest, and it appears that Weinstein could be released because he is over 50 and at a high risk of illness because he recently had surgery.
According to a press release from the New York Board of Corrections:
“Significantly fewer people in jail will limit the spread of COVID-19 infection among people in custody and those who work in the jails, minimize the number of people in custody who will need medical care, decrease the density of housing areas for people who remain in jail, and allow New Yorkers to maintain connections with and support from their loved ones.”
“The New York City Board of Correction, the independent oversight Board for the City’s jail system, is calling on the City to work with all its criminal justice partners to: (1) immediately remove from jail all people at higher risk from COVID-19 infection; and (2) rapidly decrease the jail population,” the report continued.