A young father has died of COVID-19 in Central Queensland.
The 30-year-old man, a miner, was found unresponsive in his Blackwater home when his partner returned from work about 4.30pm yesterday.
“(She) called an ambulance and they declared him dead,” Queensland’s Chief Health officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Wednesday.
He is the youngest person to have been killed by the coronavirus in Australia. His death takes the country’s national toll to 103, and he is the seventh Queenslander to have died from COVID-19.
Dr Young said the man is believed to have been showing symptoms of the virus for several weeks. There had been no confirmed cases in Blackwater prior to this case.
He returned a positive result for coronavirus during a post-mortem test and authorities were alerted to that at 11pm on Tuesday.
“The suspicion is that he has died with the infection,” Dr Young said.
She said the man had a “complicated” medical history.
Authorities believe the victim had not left his town of Blackwater since February.
Dr Young said the man’s partner, who is “sick” and showing COVID-19 symptoms, tested negative on Tuesday night but will be tested again. She is in isolation at Rockhampton Hospital.
The emergency staff who assisted the man are also in quarantine.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga took to Facebook on Wednesday morning to update the Central Queensland community.
“My deepest sympathies and condolences go to the miner who lived in Blackwater and his family who have sadly lost a father and an uncle and a nephew and a friend, who no doubt was much loved by their family,” she said.
Ms Lauga said the man hadn’t been at work since November and had been staying at home while he was ill.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said: “The news today is absolutely tragic.”
“Our thoughts are with a Queensland family that will today be grieving,” he said on Wednesday.
A public health expert and additional contract tracing resources have been deployed from Brisbane to Blackwater while additional fever clinics are being readied in the town and in Emerald, 75km to its west.
Dr Miles said the case will be referred to the coroner.
“It’s incredibly important right now that anyone with symptoms goes and get tested,” he said, “especially” those from Blackwater or who have been in the area.
“It appears that this gentleman who has passed away was ill for some time and did not get tested.”
Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday described the incident as an “unfolding situation”.
“I want to say to the family of the deceased person, we extend our deepest condolences to your family and friends.”