After learning that he had been exposed to someone infected with the coronavirus, actor Idris Elba was tested for COVID-19, and on March 16, he learned that the results were positive.
He took to Twitter to share the news and encourage people to take precautions during this uncertain time.
“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 and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing. No panic.”
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. 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. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
In the video, he explained that he quarantined himself and got tested upon learning he had been exposed.
“This is serious,” he said. “Now’s the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands. Beyond that, there are people out there who aren’t showing symptoms, and that can easily spread it.”
He encouraged people to focus on solidarity and thinking about each other. “Stay positive, and don’t freak out,” he ended his video on Twitter.
The actor was on location, about to start shooting a film when he learned he’d been exposed to the coronavirus. “It was definitely something I had to do, as I was about to start filming and was around a lot of people,” he said in another update on Twitter. “Quite honestly, my job made me test immediately.”
Elba is not the only celebrity to have contracted the virus. “Game of Thrones” star Kristofer Hivju took to Instagram to announce that he tested positive as well:
“Greetings from Norway!” he wrote. “Sorry to say that I, today, have tested positive for COVID19, Coronavirus. My family and I are self-isolating at home for as long as it takes. We are in good health – I only have mild symptoms of a cold.”
He, too, urged his followers to stay vigilant by keeping their distance from others and regularly washing their hands to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Together we can fight this virus and avert a crisis at our hospitals,” he wrote.
Actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are now in self-quarantine in their home after being released from the hospital in Queensland, Australia, where they had been hospitalized in isolation after being diagnosed with COVID-19.