A 30-year-old man whose coronavirus-related death on Tuesday made him the youngest Australian to die with the virus had only recently proposed to his partner.
Nathan Turner, a miner from the remote town of Blackwater, 200km west of Rockhampton, asked his girlfriend to marry him just last year, the Courier Mail reported.
It was his partner who would tragically find her future husband’s body in their home after she returned from work on Tuesday.
Serious questions are now being asked as to exactly how a small town in regional Queensland with a population of about 5000 managed to get its first case and just the 10th in Central Queensland.
Attentions have turned to the Rockhampton nurse who was previously heavily criticised by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after she continued to work in a nursing home despite showing symptoms and later tested positive for coronavirus.
Although never named, her public dressing down prompted Nurses' Professional Association of Queensland president Phill Tsingos to tell Yahoo News Australia the premier should apologise for the humiliation caused to the nurse.
In the latest development, it has now been revealed the nurse breached lockdown restrictions in a 400km round trip to travel to the small town to watch the sunrise, The Australian reported.
“She said she had driven to Blackwater to watch the sunrise and hadn’t gotten out of her car or had any contact with anyone,” a Queensland Health source told the publication.
“It’s a strange place to go to watch the sunrise.’’
Queensland Health say it appears Mr Turner began displaying respiratory symptoms in the first week of May, while the nurse travelled to Blackwater in the second week of May.
Queensland Health are still trying to determine whether Mr Turner died because of the virus after it was only discovered he had the virus in a post-mortem examination.
He is known to have a pre-existing and “complicated” medical condition, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Wednesday.
His partner too had begun to show symptoms and while testing negative to an initial coronavirus test, she remains at home in isolation.
The community of Blackwater is now on high-alert as a COVID-19 response team from Brisbane rushed to the town to get on top of a potential cluster of cases.
Hundreds of people will now be tested in the community, while paramedics and police officers who attended Mr Turner’s home are isolating, which has prompted the closure of the town’s police station, The Courier Mail reported.
Tributes were shared to Mr Turner’s Facebook page after the news of his death emerged.
“RIP mate, I am so shocked right now,” one friend said, according to The Australian.
“You were a top bloke and always knew how to make your friends smile. Fly high buddy and thoughts to your loved ones.”
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