Miner’s death not caused by virus despite positive test: Coroner

Nathan Turner was named the youngest person in Australia to die with coronavirus after he was found dead by his partner at their home in Blackwater, west of Rockhampton, on May 26.

Mr Turner had not left Blackwater in the Central Highlands since February, and testing clinics have been set up since his death to determine if there has been local transmission of the virus.

Nathan Turner, 30, did not die from COVID-19, the Queensland Coroner has found despite an initial testing showing he had contracted the virus. (Facebook)

Queensland Health said it began its rapid public health response in the town after Mr Turner’s partner said he had been unwell with flu-like symptoms prior to his death.

“On May 27, a post-mortem test on a man from Blackwater returned positive for COVID-19,” Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said in a statement tonight.

“The Coroner (has) advised that further tests have returned negative for COVID-19. He is yet to determine the man’s cause of death.”

Rapid connection tracing was put in place in the small Queensland town of Blackwater following Mr Turner’s death. (Glenn Campbell)

Mr Turner was not tested for coronavirus while he was alive due to the seriousness of an underlying condition.

A Queensland Health spokesman said last week that he had respiratory symptoms since the first week of May.

During the investigation into Mr Turner’s death, Queensland Health Minister Stephen Miles had said that authorities had not ruled out a link between Mr Turner’s death and a Rockhampton aged care nurse who drove 400km to Blackwater for a sunset outing.

Mr Turner’s exact cause of death has still not been identified in a Queensland Health investigation of the circumstances. (AAP)

She was infectious at the time but had not yet returned a positive test.

The same nurse sparked the lockdown of a Rockhampton aged care centre earlier this month after she continued to go to work while sick, and before getting the results of a coronavirus test.

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