The 30-year-old Queensland man thought to be Australia’s youngest COVID-19 victim has tested negative to the virus.
Nathan Turner was found dead in his Blackwater home on May 27. An initial test for COVID-19 after his death was positive, and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called him as “Australia’s youngest COVID-19 victim”.
However, a second test has returned a negative result. Blackwater residents are furious, and are demanding an apology from the premier.
Kelly Bunyoung, a colleague of Turner’s fiancée Simone Devon, revealed the negative result in a Facebook post on Monday.
“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!” Bunyong said.
“Now his loved ones can be left in peace and Nathan can finally RIP.
“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been directly impacted by this whole ordeal, and the little community of Blackwater can now breathe easy.”
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young confirmed the negative test in a brief statement on Monday night, reports the ABC.
Residents of Blackwater are now furious, with an online petition demanding an apology from Palaszczuk quickly attracting more than 3,000 signatures.
“Your leadership created emotional, mental and physical trauma to the loved ones of Nathan’s family & friends and especially to his fiancé Simone who endured so much pain than anyone else,” petition starter and Blackwater resident Nicole Muller said.
“Nathan’s passing was used as tool to create chaos and panic to a community, state and a country. You should be ashamed of yourself and if you had any human decency left then you will apologise for creating trauma to this family whilst you caused panic to our community.
“A family had to silently grieve in pain as they watched a nation be lied to about Nathan’s cause of death.”
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington joined the call, saying the town had been in “absolute upheaval” due to the positive result.
Palaszczuk is addressing media later on Tuesday.
Turner’s cause of death has not yet been determined. He had been ill for some time prior to his death, and had a complicated medical history.