Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba announced on Twitter this afternoon that he has tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
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
Elba — known for his roles in everything from "The Wire" to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — seems to be in good spirits. He's the highest-profile celebrity to come forward with a coronavirus diagnosis since Tom Hanks announced that he'd caught the bug last week.
Elba said in the short clip that he got tested after he realized he had been in proximity with someone else who'd tested positive for the virus. Commentators have pointed out that Elba attended an event last week with Sophie Trudeau, the wife of the Canadian prime minister, who also tested positive for the virus.
To his credit, Elba seems to be using the diagnosis to spread sound advice to the public. In the clip, he advocated for staying out of public spaces, frequent hand-washing, and above all, for anyone who tests positive to quarantine themselves for a two-week period.
"Look, this is serious," Elba said. "This is the time to think about social distancing, washing your hands. Beyond that, there are people out there who aren't showing symptoms, and that could easily spread it."
Other celebrities rushed to offer solace and advice.
Maybe thoughts and prayers aren’t entirely in fashion but I’d love for all you praying sorts to pray for my friend @idriselba, one of the greatest guys I know, AND to practice as much social distancing as you possibly can in the following weeks. Love you, Idris. ❤️🙏❤️ https://t.co/etr36BpZm5
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 16, 2020
Idris Elba tested positive.. All jokes aside… Be careful. Shit’s real. https://t.co/n6oYA8XBLg
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) March 16, 2020
Elba also closed the clip with some timeless advice.
"Stay positive," he said at the end of the video. "And don't freak out."