Actor Idris Elba tests positive for coronavirus

The actor was tested after someone with whom he was in contact tested positive.

March 16, 2020, 3:24 PM

Actor Idris Elba has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Monday.

In a video shared to Twitter, Elba said he learned on Friday that he'd been exposed to someone who'd tested positive for the virus.

Although he has not exhibited symptoms, he immediately self-quarantined after learning of the exposure, he added.

The actor's wife, Sabrina Dhowre, appeared alongside him in the video, and Elba said that she has not yet been tested and is doing "OK."

"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," he said. "We've told our families. They're very supportive. We've told our colleagues. And transparency's probably the best thing for this right now. If you're feeling ill, or you feel like you should be tested or you've been exposed , then do something about it. It's really important."

There have been more than 179,000 novel coronavirus cases around the world, and more than 7,000 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

There are at least 4,138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 49 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and 71 deaths nationally.

On Monday, an experimental vaccine was administered to a healthy patient in Washington State, The Associated Press reported. However, a vaccine wouldn’t be ready for widespread use for 12 to 18 months, pending additional studies and research, said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Elba ended his video with a plea for the public to come together.

“We live in a divided world right now -- we can all feel it,” he said. "Now is the time for solidarity, now is the time for thinking about each other.”