US media has reported the claim that film producer Harvey Weinstein has contracted the novel coronavirus from his New York state prison cell. 

Weinstein, 68, is currently serving a 23 year sentence for rape and sexual assault, and is in one of the age demographics most at risk for the disease. He was also recently hospitalised for suffering from heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which significantly increase his health risks.

The positive diagnosis was alleged by the Niagara Gazette, and has since been picked up by various large US media outlets. The New York state Department have refused to comment on the subject, as have Weinstein’s spokespeople.

According to Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, Weinstein is currently in isolation, with several guards he was in contact with also in quarantine.

Concerns have already been raised in the US about the potential for prisons to become major sources of infection, with guards on Rikers Island and Sing Sing prison in New York allegedly testing positive for the virus. So far as many as 17 staff members and 29 people in custody have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.