Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the coronavirus inside a New York state prison, according to a state source with knowledge of the matter.
The positive test came back Sunday at the Wende Correctional Facility where Weinstein is being held, roughly 30 miles outside of Niagara Falls, N.Y., according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss Weinstein’s medical status.
The president of the union that represents New York state correctional officers also told Reuters Weinstein had tested positive and that several prison employees had been quarantined as a result.
State corrections officials have not responded to requests for comment from The Times. On Sunday, the department issued a statement confirming two people had tested positive for the virus at the facility where Weinstein is being housed.
Weinstein’s closest advocates still had not been notified of the positive test as of Monday morning. Donna Rotunno, the fallen mogul’s lead defense counsel in his New York trial, said she and others had contacted the prison repeatedly since Sunday but had yet to be told anything by prison staff. Rotunno called the state’s handling of the situation “disgusting.”
Weinstein’s chief spokesman and Los Angeles-based defense attorney also said they had not been told anything by corrections officials.
Weinstein, 68, was transferred to the state facility last week to begin serving his 23-year prison sentence after he was convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault in Manhattan.
It was not clear when exactly Weinstein was tested, where he contracted the virus or how many other people he had been in contact with. He has been placed in isolation, and was never held in the “general population” at the upstate facility, according to the source.
The story was first reported by the Niagara Gazette on Sunday, citing anonymous sources.
Weinstein had been held in an infirmary ward on Rikers Island in New York City before his transfer upstate last week. At least 38 people have tested positive for the virus at the jail, according to media reports.
The former mogul’s deteriorating health was a constant issue throughout his six-week criminal trial. Weinstein appeared in a Manhattan courtroom with the aid of a walker each day, the result of spinal decompression surgery he underwent in December, his spokesman previously said.
After Weinstein was convicted last month of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haley and once-aspiring actress Jessica Mann, his lawyers told a courtroom that Weinstein was undergoing injections to maintain his eyesight, while arguing for him to be placed on house arrest. Twice since he was convicted, Weinstein had to be hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital after suffering heart palpitations.
Weinstein still faces sexual assault charges in Los Angeles County related to two alleged attacks that took place in Southern California hotels in 2013. Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said last month she would immediately begin extradition proceedings, but that the process normally takes months and could be slowed further because of the virus and Weinstein’s plans to appeal his conviction in New York.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.