Morgan Noll
March 23, 2020 12:22 pm

On March 11th, convicted rapist and disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. And now he’s tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) while behind bars, according to the head of the New York State corrections officers’ union, as reported by NBC News.

Weinstein was first held in Rikers Island Jail before being transferred to the maximum-security state prison Wende Correctional Facility, where he is currently in isolation. “Several” staff members that were in contact with Weinstein are also in isolation now, according to NBC News.

As of Saturday, March 21st, ABC News reported that 38 people had tested positive for coronavirus in New York City jails, including Rikers—a number that includes Department of Correction employees, Correctional Health Service employees, and inmates. In addition, New York City’s Board of Correction interim chairwoman Jacqueline Sherman wrote a letter to criminal justice leaders explaining that at least 58 people were being monitored in quarantine units.

“It is likely these people have been in hundreds of housing areas and common areas over recent weeks and have been in close contact with many other people in custody and staff,” Sherman wrote.

She explained the Board’s approach to attempting to limit the spread of the virus.

“The best path forward to protecting the community of people housed and working in the jails is to rapidly decrease the number of people housed and working in them.”

Because so many correctional facilities are overcrowded, there’s a growing concern about the potential for a rapid spreading of the coronavirus within these walls. According to The Wall Street Journal, local governments across the U.S. are releasing thousands of inmates, starting with elderly, sickly, or low-level offenders, in an effort to prevent an outbreak. Other facilities have taken extra precautions to ban visitors, screen the staff, and restrict inmate movement.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, HelloGiggles is committed to providing accurate and helpful coverage to our readers. As such, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.

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