Australia

Queensland authorities rush to trace coronavirus infection that killed 30-year-old man

Queensland man Nathan Turner Source: Supplied.

Health authorities say a 30-year-old man who died in central Queensland did not have any connection to a Rockhampton aged care nurse who tested positive.

Health authorities are trying to work out how a 30-year-old central Queensland man became infected with COVID-19 in the weeks before he died.

Nathan Turner - Australia's youngest coronavirus fatality - was found dead by his partner in their home at Blackwater, near Emerald.

Health authorities are working to determine how he contracted the virus, but have so far ruled out any connection with a Rockhampton aged care nurse who tested positive earlier this month.

The nurse travelled to Blackwater in the second week of May, before testing positive, but a Queensland Health spokesman said she did not interact with anyone there.

Mr Turner had a complicated medical history, had not worked since November and was not tested while alive because of the seriousness of his underlying condition.

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

As well as not working for six months, he had not left Blackwater since February.

His partner is sick and in isolation, but has not been admitted to hospital.

The police and ambulance officers who attended the scene are also now in quarantine.

Authorities said a public health alert will be issued if contract tracing efforts identify any risk to the broader community.

But anyone with symptoms is urged to get tested immediately.

Residents of Blackwater, which has a population of about 5000, responded to the appeal, with health authorities saying on Wednesday callers to the COVID-19 hotline were experiencing a wait 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.

A total of 103 people have died from the coronavirus in Australia, with the latest victim becoming Queensland's seventh fatality.

Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in both states' counts.

"It's a timely reminder for all Queenslanders that this COVID is real, it's out there, and it has impacts on Queenslanders and in this case, we have lost another Queenslander today," Health Minister Steven Miles said on Wednesday.

Queensland has just seven active cases remaining from a total of 1058.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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