Coronavirus Australia live updates: Panic after 30yo’s virus death

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Residents in a small Queensland town are lining up in their cars to get tested for the coronavirus after a  30-year-old man’s tragic death.

Residents in a small Queensland town are lining up in their cars to get tested for the coronavirus after a 30-year-old man’s tragic death.  

Blackwater’s 5000 residents are on high alert after former miner Nathan Turner was found dead in his home by his partner on Tuesday afternoon.

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His 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”.

Australia has recorded a total 7140 cases of COVID-19, with 3090 in New South Wales, 1618 in Victoria, 1058 in Queensland, 440 in South Australia, 570 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 29 in the Northern Territory.

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

His 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”.

“It’s possible that there is some kind of connection there, or it could just be a coincidence. That’s what our investigators are working on,” Mr Miles told ABC radio on Thursday.

State Health Minister Stephen Miles has not ruled out a link between Mr Turner’s death and a Rockhampton aged care nurse

“Those dates don’t really line up with when he got sick. It is a bit of a mystery and it could just be a coincidence.”

He said Blackwater residents weren’t told of the nurse’s visit because it was deemed low risk.

“To my knowledge, she drove there, watched the sunset, and drove back – didn’t leave her car.”

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.

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There have been no other confirmed cases in Blackwater

“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.”

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