Australian 'Today' Show Staff Quarantined After Rita Wilson Appearance, Coronavirus Diagnosis

Rita Wilson appeared on Australia's Today Show on Monday, days before the singer and husband Tom Hanks said they tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. The show's hosts, David Campbell and Belinda Russell, are self-isolating for at least 14 days after meeting Wilson. Hanks and Wilson most recently told fans they are doing well and taking things "one-day-at-a-time."

After Wilson and Hanks said they were diagnosed with COVID-19, Campbell said he was not concerned as Wilson did not display symptoms of the disease, reports Channel Nine, which airs the show. She even joked about the coronavirus outbreak during her time on the show, he said.

"She came in to the Today Show on Monday. She was delightful, really nice and she didn't show symptoms or anything," Campbell said. "She actually made a joke coming into the studio saying we shouldn't shake hands we should bump elbows … so we bumped elbows."

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"We spent seven or eight minutes with Rita," Campbell added. "She didn't seem to have a runny nose that I could see at the time during the short amount of time with her."

Campbell said the show already has a strict hygiene procedure, which includes avoiding handshakes with guests. Still, their bosses are not risking a chance the coronavirus could spread among the show's staff.

"Nine today has taken action in line with our crisis response plan around a visit to our studio by Ms Rita Wilson on Monday this week, for an appearance on Today Extra with David Campbell and Belinda Russell," a Nine spokesperson said. "Our actions are in line with the guidelines set out by the Government and Health Authorities. Those who were in prolonged contact with Ms Wilson have been tested and are self-isolating for 14 days. Our premises is currently being thoroughly cleaned in all areas she visited and we are encouraging our employees to monitor their health and practise good hygiene."

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said Hanks and Wilson are thought to have contracted coronavirus outside the country, while Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said anyone who spent more than 15 minutes with Hanks or Wilson should self-isolate. Palaszczuk spoke with director Baz Luhrmann, who is making an Elvis Presley biopic starring Hanks as Presley's manager, about the situation.

"He has said to me that he wants to pass on to everyone that we all stand with the people of Queensland in making sure that we comply with any restrictions," Palaszczuk said. "And of course that we want to see a very speedy recovery and I have passed on to Baz that the people of Queensland and the people of Australia wish Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson all the best for recovery."

Hanks and Wilson are still in quarantine at a hospital in Australia. The couple shared updates late Thursday night, thanking everyone for their support.

"We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else," Hanks wrote. "There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one-day-at-a-time. There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball."


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