Idris Elba revealed on Monday that he had tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, calling on others who may not be showing symptoms to still be cautious.
Elba was tested after learning that he had been in contact with someone else who tested positive, despite not showing symptoms of the disease.
Elba's Monday Twitter video contained a heartfelt message of solidarity and a plea for caution and social distancing.
He started out with the unpleasant truth.
"This morning I got some test results back for coronavirus, and it came back positive. Yeah, and it sucks."
Elba also encouraged people to follow the recommendations of the world's major health organizations.
"There are people out there who aren't showing symptoms, and that can easily spread it, okay? So now's the real time to be really vigilant about washing your hands and keeping your distance."
He also encouraged solidarity and understanding.
"Now's a time for solidarity. Now's a time for thinking about each other. There's been so many people whose lives have been affected."
You can view Elba's video below.
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I fo… https://t.co/CpmfaebeyO— Idris Elba (@Idris Elba)1584382706.0
In a livestream on Tuesday, Elba offered more information.
The actor also and took time to dispel one of the more ridiculous and potentially harmful conspiracy theories going around about the disease.
"Something that's sort of scaring me when I read the comments and see some of the reactions is: My people—Black people, Black people—please, please understand that coronavirus ... you can get it, all right?"
"There are so many stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories about Black people not being able to get it. That's dumb, stupid."
"That is the quickest way to get more Black people killed. And I'm talking about the whole world. Wherever we are, please understand that you can get it. ... Just know you have to be as vigilant as every other race."
"This disease does not discriminate. ... As a Black person who has contracted the virus, it needs to be said."
https://t.co/3Y98aND7Dv— Idris Elba (@Idris Elba)1584472848.0
He also revealed that his wife Sabrina was tested for the virus. Neither of them are showing symptoms of the illness yet.
Many people, especially in the United States, questioned how Elba was able to get tested for the virus when many areas are experiencing extreme shortages of testing kits and are refusing to test people who are not experiencing symptoms.
@iffy_atbest @idriselba That's so interesting. Here in the states we can't even get a test if we're actively ill with known contacts 😡— Petra Holden (@Petra Holden)1584473415.0
Elba addressed those concerns, as well.
"I'm on location, about to start filming, so it was definitely something I had to do as I was about to start filming and I was around a lot of people. It meant putting a lot of people at risk and if I had been exposed, then the people I had been working with would also be exposed."
"We are supremely aware that not a lot of people can get tests, and we feel very fortunate and lucky, but it is down to being on the job, quite honestly."
While testing may be hard to obtain in some parts of the world, social distancing and frequent hand washing are not. You can view the CDC's information about the virus, and ways to protect yourself and your family here.