UPDATE: Responding to skeptics who wondered whether celebrity status enabled him to jump the line for coronavirus testing, Idris Elba said, “My job made me test immediately.”

Many in the US have complained that getting a test is difficult. “I’m on location, about to start a film, and the news breaks that this person who is also in the public eye had tested positive,” he said. “So, it was definitely something I had to do, as I was about to start filming and was around a lot of people. Quite honestly, my job made me test immediately.”

Elba reports he’s “feeling okay” and is still asymptomatic.

“Yesterday was good and bad, you know what I mean? It was bad because obviously I tested positive, but also good because I think it opened up a lot of conversation around it,” he said during a social media livestream. “I think it made it a lot more real for some people, it definitely made it more real for me and my family.”

EARLIER: Idris Elba just Tweeted that he has tested positive for coronavirus, joining Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and a growing list of people who are self-quarantining. Here’s his Tweet, in which he describes how it happened, and gives a realistic sense of the need to be cautious. You hate to see anyone test positive, but much the way that Hanks did when he discussed his positive test, Elba might help demystify this terrible crisis:

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

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