The first American celebrities to announce they’ve tested positive for coronavirus are also some of the most beloved. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced that they’ve contracted the virus in a statement posted to Twitter. The pair is in Australia, where Hanks has been filming the director Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis Presley biopic opposite Austin Butler. Wilson, meanwhile, had been performing as a musician in concert and on Australian television.
“Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia,” Hanks posted on Twitter and Instagram. “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 and Wilson are now in isolation, and production of the film has halted.
It’s not immediately clear how long the couple had been in the country, though social media indicates they’ve been there for at least a week.
As of Wednesday, 122 cases of coronavirus have been identified in Australia. That’s a small number compared to America’s total, but is expected to grow.
Hanks’s announcement came in the midst of President Donald Trump’s televised address on the pandemic. Trump announced that all travel to and from continental Europe will be halted for the next 30 days. (In contrast, Australia is already working on an economic stimulus package aimed at workers, people on welfare, and small businesses).
Hanks and Wilson’s announcement could help put a public face to coronavirus for many Americans. In most cases, those with coronavirus have been reported in this country as statistics, not actual human beings. The news may cause many to take the threat of the growing pandemic more seriously. Though, given the spread of the virus, it’s unlikely that Hanks and Wilson will be the last people in the public eye to contract it.