‘The Wire’ actor Idris Elba tests positive for COVID-19

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Idris Elba attends the “Defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone” conference on Oct. 2, 2014. Photo courtesy of Jessica Lea/UK Department for International Development.

English actor Idris Elba, best known in Baltimore for his role as Russell “Stringer” Bell on David Simon’s HBO television series “The Wire,” has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Elba announced the test results Monday afternoon in a video he posted to Twitter.

In the video, Elba, joined by his wife, Sabrina, said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning.

“Listen, I’m doing OK. Sabrina hasn’t been tested and she’s doing okay,” he said.

Elba said he didn’t have any symptoms, but that he got tested after he was exposed to someone who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

After discovering that individual had tested positive Friday, Elba said he self-quarantined immediately and received his positive test result today.

Health officials have said symptoms of the coronavirus can include coughing, shortness of breath, and a fever greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit–although individuals exhibiting those signs are not necessarily infected with the virus.

Elba advocated for people to adopt personal protective measures such as social distancing and handwashing, two actions that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health officials say will help limit the spread of the virus.

“This is serious,” he said. “Now is the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands. Beyond that, there are people out there who aren’t showing symptoms and could easily spread it.”

Elba went on to say that people should think about how their actions during the coronavirus pandemic can affect other people.

“Look, we live in a divided world right now,” he said. “We can all feel it… But now is a time for solidarity. Now is a time for thinking about each other. There’s so many people whose lives have been affected, from those who have lost people that they love to people that don’t even have it and have lost their livelihoods. This is real.”

In the text of the video post, Elba told people to stay home, “be pragmatic,” and not to panic.

Marcus Dieterle


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