Richard Wilkins has tested POSITIVE for coronavirus

Richard Wilkins, 65, has tested POSITIVE for coronavirus after ‘briefly speaking’ to Rita Wilson during her appearance on Today Extra

  • Entertainment reporter confirmed on Sunday to have tested positive for virus
  • He had been in contact with singer Rita Wilson during her visit to Channel Nine
  • Wilson and husband actor Tom Hanks tested positive for deadly virus last week
  • A Nine spokesperson said though veteran reporter was not showing symptoms 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The 65-year-old was awaiting results after being in contact with singer Rita Wilson during her visit to Channel Nine’s Willoughby studios on Monday.

Rita and her husband, actor Tom Hanks, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on the Gold Coast on Thursday.  

Almost 300 people in Australia have been infected by the virus, which has killed five people.

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Richard Wilkins has tested positive for coronavirus, Channel Nine reported on Sunday night. Pictured with Sonia Kruger 

Wilkins had been in contact with singer Rita Wilson (right) during her visit to Channel Nine’s Willoughby studios on Monday. Rita and her husband Tom Hanks tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Thursday

Today Extra hosts Belinda Russell and David Campbell though have tested negative.

Those who were in close contact with him were in isolation, Channel Nine reported.

‘Richard Wilkins has tested positive to COVID-19,’ a spokesperson for the network said.

‘Richard is not showing any symptoms of the virus and has been self-isolating, on his own at home, since Thursday last week.

‘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.’ 

Wilkins was in the company of Olivia Newton-John, 71, and Paul Hogan, 80, five days ago. 

Wilkins shared this photo of him and Rita Wilson after she performed at the Sydney Opera House last Saturday. On Thursday, she and her husband had tested positive for the virus

Wilkins wrote on social media last Sunday about his interactions with the singer and wife of Hollywood actor Tom Hanks

It is unknown if the singer or the actor are in isolation or have undergone testing after their close contact with the reporter. 

Wilkins had spoken on social media about his interaction with Wilson, sharing a photo of the two of them last Sunday after she performed at the Sydney Opera House. 

Nine confirmed Wilkins was being tested last Thursday, with a statement at the time explaining: ‘Richard is in the very low risk category as he briefly spoke to Rita Wilson, but has been tested and is currently off while waiting for results. We are hoping he is on air this weekend.’ 

People over the age of 60 are at a higher risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization.  

Negative: The network reported that Today Extra hosts Belinda Russell (right) and David Campbell (left)  have tested negative

Close: Wilkins was awaiting results after being in contact with singer Rita Wilson (pictured) during her visit to Nine’s Willoughby studios on Monday

Measures: The report revealed that those who were in close contact with him were in isolation

Contact: Wilkins was in the company of Olivia Newton-John, 71, (centre) and Paul Hogan, 80, (right) five days ago

A fifth person was confirmed to have died from the coronavirus on Sunday, as the number of infections nationally reached nearly 300

Rita had appeared as a guest on morning show Today Extra last Monday. 

She was interviewed by hosts David Campbell and Belinda Russell, and also performed live.  

David told 2GB’s Afternoons with Deborah Knight on Thursday: ‘I interviewed her on Monday, Deb. She came into the Today Extra studios on Monday and she was delightful and really nice and she didn’t have any symptoms of anything.

‘She was cautious. She actually made a joke coming into the studios, saying we shouldn’t shake hands, we should bump elbows. So we bumped elbows.’

Safety first: During her visit to Channel Nine’s headquarters, Rita used the dressing room of A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw (pictured). As a precaution, Tracy was advised not to host ACA on Thursday night as she had recently undergone ‘minor surgery’

He added that he was feeling ‘perfectly fine’ and wasn’t too concerned about the risk because he’d only spent ‘seven or eight minutes’ with Rita.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 298

New South Wales: 134

Victoria: 57

Queensland: 61

South Australia: 20

Western Australia: 18

Tasmania: 6

Northern Territory: 1 

Australian Capital Territory: 1 

TOTAL CASES:  298

DEAD: 5  

During her visit to Channel Nine’s headquarters, Rita used the dressing room of A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw. 

As a precaution, Tracy was advised not to host ACA on Thursday night as she had recently undergone ‘minor surgery’.   

Tom Hanks revealed on Instagram on Thursday that he and his wife experienced symptoms including the common cold, body aches and chills before they decided to get tested.

He wrote: ‘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.

‘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. 

He wrote: ‘Rita had some chills. 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’ 

Moving around: Tom and Rita have visited several cities in Australia this month, making stops in Sydney and Brisbane while being based primarily on the Gold Coast. Pictured: Rita outside the Sydney Opera House on Saturday

‘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! Hanx!’

Tom had arrived in Australia on January 26 to begin pre-production on a Baz Luhrmann-directed film about Elvis Presley in which he plays Presley’s longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

He and Rita have visited several east coast cities this month, making stops in Sydney and Brisbane while being based primarily on the Gold Coast.

Symptoms of the virus include a fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath

The couple are currently being treated at the Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland and believed to be doing well. 

It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that from midnight all people coming to Australia will have to self-isolate for 14 days.  

The prime minister also announced cruise ships will be banned from docking in Australian ports for at least 30 days.

It follows the number of confirmed cases in Australia climbing to almost 300. 

‘This is very important. What we have seen in recent weeks is more countries having issues with the virus and that means that the source of some of those transitions are coming – transmissions are coming from those countries,’ he said.

Penalties for not self-isolating will be determined by states and territories. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that from midnight all people coming to Australia will have to self-isolate for 14 days 

Social distancing measures are also now required, Mr Morrison said.

From Monday, gatherings of more than 500 people have been banned. 

Limitations on large gatherings in enclosed areas such as theatres are expected to be made later in the week.  

Mr Morrison said the measures were to restrict social interactions and lower the risk of widespread outbreak. 

‘There will be no more handshakes…which was something that was not needed a few weeks ago. It is a precautionary step,’ he said.

‘There will be further intrusions and there will be further restrictions on peoples movements.’

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