Instagram image of Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks while they are in hospital for coronavirus
Instagram image of Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks while they are in hospital for coronavirus

Tom Hanks coronavirus case puts councillor in isolation

A BRUSH with Tom Hanks has sent an Isaac Regional Councillor into coronavirus lockdown.

Division one councillor Greg Austen and his wife Marie Austen were among the privileged few who rubbed shoulders with the Hollywood elite on the Gold Coast.

As a result he and two other councillors had to self-isolate to avoid potentially spreading the contagious virus to others.

The Academy Award winning actor and his wife Rita Wilson, who were both diagnosed with COVID-19, have since been released from hospital and are in quarantine at their Australian home.

"We went to an event with Tom Hanks, then the s--- hit the fan with him," Cr Austen said.

While the couple was not showing any symptoms, Cr Austen said they were not prepared to risk exposing others in the community and were self-isolating at their home.

"We're 10 miles out of town, so it's no drama," Cr Austen said.

Councillor Greg Austen with Isaac Regional Council CEO Gary Stevenson. Cr Austen was unable to attend the last council meeting of this term due to concerns about coronavirus.
Councillor Greg Austen with Isaac Regional Council CEO Gary Stevenson. Cr Austen was unable to attend the last council meeting of this term due to concerns about coronavirus.

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He had not been tested for coronavirus but said his wife was waiting on her results, which were sent on Friday.

"(Hopefully) nothing's cooking," he said.

After meeting with Mrs Austen earlier in the week, Cr Lynette Jones and her husband also self-isolated for five days.

She was able to attend the final council meeting in person.

Cr Jones said the period of self-isolation had been precautionary, but added that a pre-existing medical condition put her "at the top of the list" of vulnerable people.

As the virus continues to spread, Cr Jones worried about the impact on her community.

"I don't know where it is going to end," she said.

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Crs Austen and Gina Lacey both chose to self isolate for the council meeting in Moranbah on Tuesday, but still attended via teleconferencing calls.

To slow any spread of coronavirus, chief executive officer Gary Stevenson said the council would "lead by example and use social distancing".

Mr Stevenson said service directors were only to attend the meeting if they were required to answer specific questions from councillors.



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