2 Jun 2020

Tests reveal Australian 30-year-old did not die from Covid-19

11:15 am on 2 June 2020

Queensland Health has confirmed further tests show 30-year-old Nathan Turner did not have coronavirus before he died last week.

This file photo taken on April 15, 2020 shows a COVID-19 coronavirus sign at a Pacific Highway vehicle checkpoint on the Queensland-New South Wales state border near Coolangatta.

Photo: AFP

An autopsy report shows the Emerald man, who had underlying health issues, tested negative to Covid-19 and his cause of death is yet to be established.

This takes the Queensland death total down to six from the previous seven.

Turner, who had complex medical conditions, was found dead in his home last week.

In a statement, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the coroner was yet to determine Turner's cause of death.

"On May 27, a post-mortem test on a man from Blackwater returned positive for Covid-19 and his partner confirmed he had been unwell with flu-like symptoms for a number of weeks," Dr Young said.

"On that basis Queensland Health established a rapid public health response, including quarantining and testing close contacts, expanding Covid-19 testing in Blackwater and talking to the community, as it would expect us to do.

"The coroner tonight advised that further tests have returned negative for Covid-19."

Late on Monday, a close friend of his grieving widow Simone Devon posted on Facebook that he was "COVID-19 free".

Kelly Bunyoung, who runs the Fairbairn Bakery in Blackwater where Devon works, wrote: "We have just got word from our staff member / Nathan's partner that his autopsy report has come in and Nathan has been CLEARED as COVID 19 NEGATIVE !!!!

"Now his loved ones can be left in peace and Nathan can finally RIP x.

"Our thoughts are with everyone who has been directly impacted by this whole ordeal, and the little community of Blackwater can now breathe easy."

Turner's death sparked a major health emergency in central Queensland to trace the source of the infection.

Two tests were conducted after his death with both a positive and a negative result.

The second result was deemed to have been contaminated.


Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs