No new COVID-19 cases as investigations ramp up into Central Qld death

Queensland has recorded another day of no new coronavirus cases as health officials frantically try and trace the source of the virus that killed a 30-year-old man in Blackwater.

Nathan Turner was found dead in his home on Tuesday afternoon with subsequent tests confirming he had COVID-19.

Authorities have identified 20 people who were in contact with the man, including his partner, with 18 of those already tested which have all returned negative.


Testing is being significantly increased in the Central Queensland town with a third fever clinic opening at the Blackwater Rodeo Grounds today.

More than 30 locals were tested yesterday with another 95 booked in to be swabbed today.

The Chief Health Officer has also ordered testing of sewerage in the town to give investigators a better idea of whether the man’s case was locally acquired.

Queensland Health is also still investigating links between a Rockhampton nurse who tested positive, and the death of the man in Blackwater.

Health Minister Steven Miles says it’s unlikely she was the source of the infection, as the man had symptoms before the nurse travelled to the town earlier this month.

But he says it can’t be completely ruled out yet.

“It’s possible and so they’re continuing to work through that,” Mr Miles said.

“Obviously, we’ve had very low numbers of confirmed cases, and very low numbers in the central Queensland region and so why it might just be a coincidence, our public health unit will investigate thoroughly whether this is a possible source of the infection.”

Mr Miles says the nurse has told officials that she travelled almost 200kms to Blackwater to watch the sunrise or sunset, which the Minister admits is “curious.”

The Minister has defended the decision not to issue a public health alert in Blackwater following the nurse’s diagnosis, saying she had told investigators she had no contact with anyone in the town.

The State’s total number of cases stands at 1058 but the number of active cases has fallen to just six.

Testing rates were high on Wednesday but Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young insists that’s not enough if we want to see restrictions lifted sooner.

“For us to go forward and to lift those very onerous restrictions that have been in place now, we must do more testing,” Dr Young said.

“We have the capacity in Queensland to test 10,000 Queenslanders every single day. We have not even reached half of that number, so I implore Queenslanders, if you have any symptoms at all, or a fever of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, or a history of fever, then please come forward and get tested.”

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If the Qld Gov wants people with any symptoms at all to come forward and get tested maybe they should update the Qld Gov COVID website to reflect that, because it does not say what Dr Young is saying in this article.