Heartbreaking detail in 30yo’s death


Australia's youngest coronavirus victim had only recently become engaged to his partner, with confusion reigning as to how the pandemic reached his home in the central Queensland town Blackwater.

Nathan Turner, 30, had been homebound and not working due to a pre-existing health issue but it is feared his partner may have been exposed to the deadly virus.

Mr Turner's fiance had shown symptoms and continued working at a local bakery but she tested negative to the virus.

She will now be tested again and is currently isolated in her home.

At 30, Mr Turner is the youngest Australian to have died of the virus and brings Australia's death toll to 103.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

RELATED: National tally of coronavirus cases in Australia

His fiance found Mr Turner unresponsive when she returned to their home from work at about 4.30pm on Tuesday.

He could not be revived and was declared deceased at the scene.

It is understood the 30-year-old had been suffering some seizures and had been on workers compensation since November.

Tests conducted after Mr Turner's death found he had contracted COVID-19.

Nathan Turner, 30, is the youngest person in Australia to die from COVID-19.
Nathan Turner, 30, is the youngest person in Australia to die from COVID-19.

The Queensland chief medical officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said the man is believed to have spent most of his time at home while he was ill and had not travelled overseas.

"I ask that everyone in Blackwater, if you have any symptom at all, to come forward and be tested," she said.

Mr Turner's death comes after an unidentified Rockhampton nurse tested positive for the virus earlier this month after she broke government enforced lockdown rules to travel to the town.

Health authorities have confirmed the nurse travelled to Blackwater in the second week of May, before testing positive.

The woman reportedly told contact tracers she drove to Blackwater to "see a sunset".

"At this time, no evidence has been provided to Queensland Health that links the two cases," the spokesman told AAP.



The nurse is suspended and under investigation after she continued working while showing symptoms.

Deputy CMO Paul Kelly refused to comment on whether there could be a connection between the two cases but said it was worrying someone in such a remote area fell ill.

"It shows that there is community transmission of some sort," he told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

"We haven't had many people in rural areas in any state and so at this point in the pandemic it is a concern.

"I understand that he had been sick for some weeks and I guess he hadn't assumed that it was COVID-19. It is another very strong reminder to all of us at this point that if anyone has any symptoms that are of a respiratory virus.

"It might feel like a cold, it could be COVID and we really want to get that test done."

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said where there are cases where a source of transmission can't be identified it causes concern that more people could unknowingly. contract the virus within the community.

"We want to do our best to find COVID-19 cases, isolate them and treat them, and that's going to be really difficult when people aren't presenting for testing, and then potentially spreading the virus to other people," ABC reported her saying.

"Health officials are saying he did have very limited contact with the community in the last few weeks because he had been ill.

Mr Turner was found unresponsive when his partner returned from work.
Mr Turner was found unresponsive when his partner returned from work.

Ms Lauga said there had been no confirmation that Mr Lauga's case could be linked to the nurse that visited the area.

While the coroner will investigate whether the virus or Mr Turner's other known illnesses caused his death, a Queensland Health spokesman said the man had respiratory symptoms since the first week of May.

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said he was showing symptoms for several weeks and tested positive after his death.

A friend of Mr Turner told The Australianhe was a "larrikin and always the life of the party".

"He was a funny, kind person who always had time for his mates."

Other friends flocked to his Facebook page to post tributes to the young miner.

One friend said he was "shocked" to hear the tragic news.

"You were a top bloke and always knew how to make your friends smile. Fly high buddy and thoughts to your loved ones," they wrote.

At 30, Mr Turner is the youngest Australian to have died of the virus and brings Australia's death toll to 103.

"Of course our thoughts are with a Queensland family that today will be grieving," Queensland health minister, Steven Miles, told reporters.

"This does appear to be Queensland's seventh COVID-19 related death."




The case is the first recorded in Blackwater and anyone with symptoms is being urged to get tested immediately.

Residents of Blackwater - which has a population of about 5000 - responded to the appeal, with health authorities saying callers to the COVID-19 hotline were experiencing a waiting time of up to 35 minutes.

A fever clinic will be opened at the Blackwater rodeo ground from 8am on Thursday.

A team of public health experts and additional contact tracing resources have also been deployed from Brisbane to Blackwater.

"I have four planes on the ground, two in Townsville and two in Brisbane that we can use to go and get anyone who's a confirmed case, and move them to Rockhampton or to Brisbane," Dr Young told reporters on Wednesday.

With AAP

Originally published as Heartbreaking detail in 30yo's death

Springfield mastermind’s new medical research project

Premium Content Springfield mastermind’s new medical research project

Springfield City Group has revealed it is in talks to create a dedicated medicine...

New details released about fatal house fire investigation

Premium Content New details released about fatal house fire investigation

The body of a man was found inside the property within a gated community but one...

Pregnancy policy cost sparks gender war

Premium Content Pregnancy policy cost sparks gender war

Sex Discrimination Commissioner asked to investigate