Despite their best efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, some of the biggest worldwide names – like Colton Underwood, Tom Hanks, Prince Charles and more – have come down with the sickness.
(UPDATE 4/1/20, 11:45 A.M. ET): YNW Melly, 20, tested positive for coronavirus while the rapper was awaiting trial in South Florida’s Broward County Jail, which his Instagram page announced on April 2. “He’ll be filing a motion for restricted release in hopes of better care due to any jails not being prepared to treat this new virus,” the announcement added. The rapper (whose legal name is Jamell Demons) was previously charged with two counts of first-degree murder stemming from the Oct. 2018 shooting deaths of two men, whom were reported to be his close friends.
(UPDATE 4/1/20, 11:45 A.M. ET): Paulina Bugembe, who stars as Valerie on the long-running ABC soap series General Hospital, announced on her Instagram that she’s been diagnosed with Coronavirus. Self-isolation Day 7/14: halfway there. I’m going nuts in this room,” she posted. “Sometimes I crack the door open when I hear (her cat) Snipes just outside the door to get a peek at him and close it before he tried to come in,” she wrote. “The ER nurse called to check in on me yesterday and said that it sounded like I was improving based on my updates. I will take this damn bracelet off when I’m able to leave this room which is hopefully in seven days. That all depends on what this cough wants to do. #LifeWithCOVID.”
(UPDATE 3/31/20, 12:04 P.M. ET): CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, the younger brother of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, announced via Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19. “In these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus,” Cuomo, 49, tweeted. “I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fevers, chills and shortness of breath. I just hope I didn’t give it to the kids and Cristina. That would make me feel worse than this illness!” Cuomo said that he’s “quarantined” in his basement and will continue his show from there. “We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!”
The anchor was at CNN’s offices in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of NYC on Friday, March 27. He hosted his show from home on March 30, during which he interviewed his brother. Cuomo actually broke the news while Governor Cuomo was giving his daily briefing about the COVID-19 crisis in New York state. “He’ll be fine,” the governor, 62, told reporters. “He’s a sweet, beautiful guy. He’s my best friend. It was always me and my brother growing up.” As of March 31, nearly 76,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York state; at least 1200 people have died.
(UPDATE 3/30/20, 9:26 A.M. ET): Following seven days of self-isolation at his home, Burnham, on the Balmoral Estate in Scotland, Prince Charles is no longer in self-isolation. “Having consulted with his doctor, the Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation,” a spokesman for the royal said, according to The BBC. His wife, Duchess Camilla, has tested negative for the virus.
(UPDATE 3/29/20, 6:45 P.M. ET): Grammy winning country-folk singer John Prine, 73, has been hospitalized with symptoms and is in “critical” condition. “This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send out more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you,” John’s wife Fiona Prine confirmed in a statement on social media. Fiona previously tested positive for COVID-19.
(UPDATE 3/29/20, 4:15 P.M. ET): Beloved country singer Joe Diffie has died from the coronavirus at the age of 61. Known for songs like “John Deere Green” and “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)”, Joe was only diagnosed with the condition last week. “Oh my God. One of the all-time GREAT vocalists,” fellow crooner Trace Adkins tweeted after his death was announced. “Joe Diffie was my friend. RIP, buddy.”
(UPDATE 3/27/20, 7:45 A.M. ET): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has become the latest celebrity to test positive for coronavirus. “Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” he wrote on Twitter. “I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video conference as we fight this virus. Together, we will beat this.”
(UPDATE 3/25/20, 6:45 A.M. ET): Clarence House has confirmed that Prince Charles, 71, who is the father of Prince Harry and Prince William, has tested positive for coronavirus. “He has been displaying mild symptoms, but otherwise remains in good health and has been working form home throughout the last few days as usual,” the statement read. Charles is the first royal to test positive for the disease. His last public event was on March 12.
(UPDATE 3/23/20, 11:17 A.M. ET): Senator Amy Klobuchar has announced on Twitter that her husband, John Bessler, has tested positive for COVID-19. The senator said that they got the results on the morning of March 23; he had originally thought he had a cold, then started coughing up blood. He is in isolation and on oxygen, but not a ventilator. “I love him & not being able to be by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease. So many are going through this & much worse. I pray for him & you & meanwhile I will do all I can to get help to the American people,” she wrote. She stressed that she and John, who was teaching in DC, have been apart long enough that she doesn’t need to take a test herself.
Broadway star Aaron Tveit, 36, also announced on March 23 that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Aaron, who currently stars in Moulin Rouge! has been quarantined since Broadway shows all shut down on March 12. “I consider myself extremely lucky that my symptoms have been very mild – cold like with no fever – as so many are experiencing much more serious symptoms, because this is a very dangerous virus,” he wrote on Instagram. You can read his full statement HERE.
(UPDATE 3/22/20, 3:30 P.M. ET): Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19. His office announced the news on Twitter on Sunday, March 22. Paul, who is also a licensed physician, was the only senator to vote against a bipartisan $ 8 billion deal to provide emergency coronavirus funding earlier this month. He was called out for that on social media after the news was announced. Rand also reportedly worked out at the Senate gym as late as Sunday morning before he got the news and left.
(UPDATE 3/21/20, 11:30 P.M. ET): Idris Elba’s wife Sabrina Dhowre, 30, has also tested positive for COVID-19 after her husband confirmed he had the virus on Mar. 16 but confirmed she is asymptomatic. “I don’t feel anything that would come to what people would now expect to be a symptom of coronavirus, which is really strange,” Sabrina said to Oprah Winfrey over a FaceTime conversation. “It might change in the coming weeks, and we’ll keep everyone updated. But it is worrisome that we’re sitting here, two people, and … we’re asymptomatic.”
(UPDATE 3/20/20, 6:14 P.M. ET): Right after Colton Underwood revealed his positive coronavirus test, Andy Cohen sadly had the same news to share. The 51-year-old host of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen! (which will now be put on pause) revealed in an Instagram post that “after a few days of self-quarantine” and “not feeling great,” he tested positive for COVID-19.
(UPDATE 3/20/20, 5:12 P.M. ET): Colton Underwood has come forward as one of the biggest stars to test positive for the new coronavirus. On March 20, The Bachelor star revealed that he’s self-isolating in Huntington Beach, CA at the home of Cassie Randolph’s parents. He made the announcement in an Instagram video filmed at his girlfriend’s parents’ house, saying, “I want to let you guys know: I’m 28, I consider myself pretty healthy, I work out regularly, I eat healthy, and I became symptomatic a few days ago, got my test results back today, and they are positive,” Colton said in the video. COVID-19 has already taken a toll on Colton; he added, “It’s been kicking my ass, just to put it pretty bluntly. The main thing is I can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath or go to the bathroom without having to sit down because I’m exhausted.” You can watch Colton’s full video below.
(UPDATE 3/18/20, 9:46 p.m. ET): By March 18, a wave of new stars tested positive for the new coronavirus: Kevin Durant along with three other Brooklyn Nets players, and two Games of Thrones stars (Indira Varma and Kristofer Hivju).
(UPDATE 3/16 AT 2:30 P.M. ET): Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to reveal that he has been diagnosed with coronavirus. He shared the news via social media on March 16. “This morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote. “I feel ok. I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing. No panic.”
With the World Health Organization reporting almost 125,000 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus within the first weeks of the pandemic, the odds that stars from the movie, television, music, and entertainment world would be spared were low. It was just a matter of time before a huge name reported that they’ve contracted COVID-19, but no one expected that name to be national treasure, Tom Hanks. Tom, 63, confirmed on Mar. 11 that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, 63, had come down with COVID-19 while he was filming an Elvis Presley biopic on The Gold Coast in Australia. Tom gave an update a day later, saying that he and his wife were “in isolation, so we do not spread it to anyone else.”
“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?” he added, delivering a message that seemed to dispel any potential stigmas associated with the disease while also encouraging people to stay grounded. “Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball.”
There might be some crying over baseball. The 2020 MLB season was delayed, and Spring Training was canceled as part of preventive measures. This followed similar steps by the NHL, NCAA, and MLS, who all reacted after the NBA paused its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert, 27, tested positive. Shortly afterward, his teammate, Donovan Mitchell, 23, was also diagnosed with coronavirus. Overseas, European soccer was wrecked by the disease, with many games being held in empty stadiums and leagues suspending play.
In Italy – the country who reported the second-highest number of deaths from coronavirus in the early weeks, only topped by mainland China – everything was shut down, including the Serie A soccer league. After Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate Daniele Rugani tested positive, the Juventus squad went into lockdown. The team’s “football players, staff members, directors, entourage and Juventus employees are observing a period of voluntary home isolation, in compliance with the requirements of the health authorities based on the provisions currently in force.”
On March 15, there was another confirmed celebrity case, as former Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko, confirmed that she had tested positive for the illness. Olga played Camille in Quantum of Solace, and revealed that she is in “self isolation” due to her diagnosis. She had been ill for more than a week before revealing her news to fans. The following day, Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju, 41 — who played wildling Tormund Giantsbane on the HBO show — revealed that he too tested positive for the new coronavirus. He told Instagram fans that he’d be “self-isolating” with his family “for as long as it takes.”
In this time of uncertainty, consult the Center For Disease Control for information about COVID-19, what measures you can take to prevent the spread of coronavirus, what to do if you demonstrate symptoms, and how to not get swept in the hysteria during this time.