The actor shared the update on Monday, telling fans in a video: “So look – this morning I got some test results back for coronavirus and it came back positive. Yeah, and it sucks.
“Listen, I’m doing OK.”
Elba said his wife Sabrina Dhowre hasn’t been tested but is “doing OK” too.
“I didn’t have any symptoms. I got tested because I realised I was exposed to someone who had also tested positive,” he added. “I found out last Friday that they were tested positive. I quarantined myself and got the results immediately and got the results back today.”
Elba urged others to take necessary precautions, telling them: “This is serious.
“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.
“So now’s the real time to be really vigilant about washing your hands and keeping your distance, OK?”
Elba and Dhowre have informed their families and colleagues, who are being “very supportive”.
“Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now,” Elba added. “If you’re feeling ill, you feel like you should be tested or you’ve been exposed, do something about it. All right? It’s really important.
“We live in a divided world right now. We can all feel it. It’s been bulls***. But now’s the time for solidarity. Now’s the time for thinking about each other. There are so many people whose lives have been affected, from those who have lost people they love to people that don’t even have it and have lost their livelihoods.
“This is real.”
Elba said he will share more updates as time goes on.
“Stay positive and don’t freak out,” he added.
The words “not Idris” began trending on Twitter shortly after Elba’s announcement as fans sent messages of support to the actor.
Wendell Pierce, who starred with Elba in The Wire, tweeted: “The entire cast of The Wire wishes our brother @IdrisElba to get well soon as he fights this virus. Take care and best of health.”
Actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have also been diagnosed with Covid-19 and remain in isolation in Australia.
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