Australia’s youngest coronavirus victim threw a party just days before he died, as his family raises doubts as to whether he actually died from the killer disease.
Nathan Turner was found dead at his home in Blackwater, Queensland, by his partner – who he recently proposed to – on Tuesday afternoon.
Mystery surrounds how the miner contracted the virus, after not leaving the town since February.
Now officials fear it may spread further, after revelations Mr Turner and his fiancée Simone Devon hosted a party at their home just days before his death.
At 30 years-old the miner is the youngest person in Australia to die from the deadly respiratory infection, bringing the national death total to 103.
Nathan Turner (pictured, left) with his partner Simone Devon (right) who threw a party days before he died of coronavirus
Nathan Turner (pictured) became the youngest person to die of COVID-19 in Australia, aged just 30
Mr Turner had a series of health problems and had been displaying symptoms in the weeks before his death, but was only tested after his body was found.
About a dozen locals attended the party and have since been tested for COVID-19, 7News reported.
All but two of Mr Turner’s close contacts had been tested by Thursday morning with all being cleared of the deadly coronavirus.
Ms Devon had also tested negative for the killer virus but is suffering with symptoms and will undergo further testing while staying with her parents.
After the 30-year-old’s death was made public, Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young denied allegations he did not have the disease.
‘There was a test done … which is a very sensitive test and it came back positive,’ MS Young told reporters.
‘I believe it was a positive.’
Nathan Turner (pictured) is the youngest person in Australia to die from COVID-19, taking the national death toll to 103
Nathan Turner (pictured) hadn’t left his hometown of Blackwater since February, but still contracted COVID-19 and died on Tuesday
Ms Young said Mr Turner had a ‘complicated medical history’ that ‘needs to be worked through’ and did not know the impact of his other medical issues.
‘Whether or not COVID-19 was the precipitating cause for his death, that’s how we report it,’ she said.
Mr Turner’s shattered family does not believe coronavirus is what caused his death as he also suffered from epilepsy and asthma, and regularly caught the flu.
In what is fast becoming the country’s most mysterious coronavirus case, Mr Turner had not travelled outside his hometown of Blackwater, not known to have any other coronavirus infections, since February.
Nathan Turner’s partner was later taken to Blackwater Hospital (pictured) to be tested after developing symptoms of COVID-19
Nathan Turner (pictured) worked as a miner, but had been off work since November, officials said
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 7,150
New South Wales: 3,090
Western Australia: 570
South Australia: 440
Australian Capital Territory: 107
Northern Territory: 29
TOTAL CASES: 7,150
His shock diagnosis forced the closure of the town’s police station, after three officers were forced into home isolation, as were paramedics who rushed to the scene.
The bakery where his fiancée works has also been closed.
Health authorities are concerned that the man had never been tested for the virus, and are urging anybody living in Blackwater who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 to present to a testing clinic immediately.
Health Minister Steven Miles said fever clinics are being set up in Blackwater and Emerald – an hour’s drive west.
Officials now suspect an infected nurse, already suspended from her job at an aged care facility, may have given him the virus.
A nurse is seen testing a woman for COVID-19 at a testing centre in Sydney on May 12 (pictured) with similar tests being performed at the Queensland aged care centre
Earlier this month, the unnamed nurse continued working at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre despite having coronavirus symptoms.
The nurse is reported to have been contagious since May 3, and continued working with the elderly residents despite showing symptoms from May 5.
She later tested positive, sparking a frantic testing blitz of the centre’s 200 vulnerable residents – all of whom tested negative.
The nurse has been suspended and has been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission over an alleged breach of public health directions.
It is now alleged she travelled 167km from Rockhampton to Blackwater, and may have infected Mr Turner – who had not left the area for months.
She was allegedly in the town on May 10, four days before she tested positive.
Nathan Turner (pictured) was found dead at his home by his partner on Tuesday afternoon