Queensland health authorities believe that Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson likely contracted the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in the United States or in transit from there before testing positive for the virus in Australia. The Hollywood power couple announced their diagnoses on Instagram Wednesday night, with the officials from Queensland Health, the Australian government department overseeing the outbreak of the disease in that state, later stating that all new reported infections are believed to have been contracted outside of Australia.
"At this stage we believe all seven contracted the illness outside Australia and travelled to Queensland with the virus," an official, who did not specifically name Hanks and Wilson, said in a press conference shared on Facebook, according to News.com.au.
Queensland Health director-general John Wakefield later added that "whether you're from Hollywood or Helensvale, you will get great care in our healthcare system and we will look after you."
A separate Facebook post explained that a 63-year-old male is "in isolation in the Gold Coast Hospital in a stable condition" after "he had returned from travel in the United States of America and recently arrived on the Gold Coast." A 64-year-old female, stated to be the former patient's "travelling companion," is also in isolation at the Gold Coast Hospital in stable condition. It is unclear if these two cases are at all related to Hanks and Wilson.
Addressing the uptick in cases in the state, which reported seven new cases on Thursday local time, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles stated that the infectious diseases unit at the hospital where the couple is being treated is "one of the best in the world." He added that "if you are going to get sick, if you are going to get COVID-19 anywhere in the world, Queensland is where you would want to get it."
Hanks and Wilson had been in Australia for at least a week preparing to begin production on Baz Luhrmann's untitled Elvis Presley biopic before testing positive for COVID-19. They announced their diagnoses on social media Wednesday night.
"Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia," Hanks wrote. "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."
Hanks went on to explain that he and his wife "will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires" and that they are currently taking "a one-day-at-a-time approach."