A 30-YEAR-OLD man from central Queensland who died overnight tested positive to COVID-19.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the death at a press conference this morning.
She called it an “unfolding situation”, revealing the diagnosis only occurred after the man’s death in Blackwater last night.
“Last night there has been one confirmed case in Queensland,” she said.
“The gentleman is deceased.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the man was showing symptoms prior to his death, but also had other health issues.
His partner is also unwell with symptoms of COVID-19.
However, there have been no prior cases of COVID in Blackwater, raising concerns for authorities.
The ambulance officers called to the scene last night are now in quarantine.
It is Queensland’s seventh recorded death.
There are 1058 total cases in Queensland with just seven active
Health Minister Steven Miles said the man, who had a complicated medical history, had been unwell for some time.
He urged anyone in the region to be tested if they were unwell.
“We urge anyone, anyone in Queensland, but particularly anyone in Blackwater who is suffering symptoms to please go and get tested,” Mr Miles said.
“This message is particularly important for all the blokes out there.
“I know that men sometimes fob off their illness, they don’t go and get medical assistance, but it’s incredibly important right now that anyone with symptoms goes and gets tested.”
Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young said it was believed the man had been sick for weeks.
She said the man’s partner had returned a negative test, but would be tested again and is in isolation.
Dr Young said the man had not left Blackwater since February and had not been overseas.
She said it was believed he had been at home for most of the time he was ill.
Dr Young said his partner had come home from work at 4.30pm to find him “non-responsive” and called an ambulance, who declared him dead.
“Although we know that the majority of people who develop complications and all of the people to date in Queensland who have died have been older people, but we know from overseas that it’s not a disease exclusively of older people,” she said.
Dr Young said she was “of course” concerned.
“I have four planes on the ground, two in Townsville, and two in Brisbane, that we can use to go and get anyone who is a confirmed case and move them to Rockhampton or to Brisbane,” she said.
“That’s been part of our planning from day one.
“So we can move people”
Ms Palaszczuk said the case could feed into the government’s thinking around its next moves on whether it could further relax restrictions – a decision due on Sunday.
“It’s very crucial over the next couple of days to do this contact tracing,” she said.
Dr Young confirmed the 30-year-old man was the youngest coronavirus fatality in Australia.
“Unfortunately we do see young people die from respiratory diseases all the time,” she said.
“We see it every winter with flu, we see young people die.
“Age is not a total predictor of people who are going to develop it.”
Dr Young said they did not yet know the impact of the man’s underlying health concerns, which will be a matter for the Coroner to look into.
A fever clinic will also be set up in Blackwater, with the chief health officer urging anyone with symptoms to come forward for testing.
The clinic will be in place from midday.
“If anyone has any symptoms or a fever or a history of a fever, it’s important that you come forward and be tested as soon as you develop those symptoms,” Dr Young said.