Veteran Channel Nine entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins has tested positive to COVID-19 after meeting and interviewing Hollywood star Rita Wilson last week.
Wilkins met Wilson and her actor husband Tom Hanks after her intimate performance at the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room last week and has since returned a positive result for coronavirus, Nine newspapers reported on Sunday night.
Wilkins was reportedly escorted backstage to meet the couple after the show on Sunday night.
“Richard Wilkins has tested positive to COVID-19. Richard is not showing any symptoms of the virus and has been self-isolating, on his own at home, since Thursday last week,” a Nine spokeswoman said.
“Since he is still without symptoms the authorities advise that he has not knowingly put others at risk, although anyone he has been in contact with prior to Thursday afternoon has been notified and will be tested if they show any symptoms of the virus.
“We want to assure everyone that Richard is feeling well and still without symptoms.”
(He spoke to Tom Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson on MONDAY and they tested positive on THURSDAY which sure as heck raises questions about cabinet (Tuesday) and Dutton 🧐 who tested positive on Friday)
Richard Wilkins, 65, has tested POSITIVE for coronavirus https://t.co/BShoWTcPLb
— 𝕤𝕒𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕥𝕙𝕒 𝕞𝕒𝕚𝕕𝕖𝕟 (@samanthamaiden) March 15, 2020
Wilson and Hanks are quarantined in a Gold Coast hospital after testing positive to COVID-19 on Thursday.
An upbeat Hanks, who lives with diabetes, praised Australian health authorities on social media.
“Rita and I want to thank everyone here down under who are taking such good care of us,” Hanks wrote on social media on Friday.
“We have COVID-19 and are in isolation so we don’t spread it to anyone else … There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness.
“We are taking it one day at a time … Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball.”
— Richard Wilkins (@RichardWilkins) March 8, 2020
The New Zealand-born Wilkins, 65, was the original host of MTV Australia when it launched in 1987.
He recently replaced David Campbell as co-host of Weekend Today with Rebecca Maddern, and is also a radio host on smoothfm.