Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young

May 27, 2020

Queensland’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to seven following the death of a 30-year-old man in Blackwater on Tuesday.

Chief Health officer Jeannette Young said the man’s partner returned home from work on Tuesday afternoon and found him unresponsive.

He died a short time later.

Dr Young said the man – who worked at a local mine – had a “complicated” medical history but had not recently travelled overseas.

He had not been tested for the virus before his death although he had been very ill and had not be attending work.

His death has been referred to the Coroner and contact tracing is under way.

The police and ambulance officers who attended the scene are now in isolation as a precautionary measure.

The Blackwater man is the youngest fatality so far in Australia.

Opposition Health spokesperson Ros Bates offered her sympathy to the family of the Blackwater man but questioned how he had contracted the disease.

“My thoughts are with the friends and loved ones of the man from Blackwater who has tragically passed away,” Ms Bates said.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has serious questions to answer about how a man who has not been overseas, who was not known to authorities, and had been in Blackwater since February contracted COVID-19.

“This case raises concerns the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s testing regime is failing to detect active coronavirus cases in Queensland.

“When compared with other States and as a proportion of national testing numbers, Queensland is well behind where we should be.

“It also raises doubts over the accuracy of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s coronavirus numbers and whether they can be trusted.

“The Blackwater community deserves answers and (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to be open and accountable.”

* * *

Australia has now recorded 7137 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 103 deaths.

Of these confirmed cases, 732 (just over 10 per cent) have been locally acquired but authorities have not been able to trace the source.

There have been 1058 confirmed cases in Queensland, including seven active cases.

Forty-one cases have been locally acquired with no known contact.

Of the seven active cases, four patients are in hospital including one in intensive care.

Queensland Health says a total of 180,371 people have been tested for the virus.

* * *

South Burnett Regional Council has urged local residents to remain vigilant.

“As restrictions start to ease it’s important that we keep doing the simple things to help protect ourselves and others,” a Council spokesperson said

“It is also important to remember that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still very real and if we continue to be vigilant this will assist with flattening the curve and may be the difference between an outbreak and business as usual.

“Continuing to use social distancing (also called physical distancing) is one way to help slow the spread of viruses and help protect the vulnerable people in our community who are at most risk of getting really sick.

“So let’s continue to stop the spread.”

Council reminded residents of the five ways to stop the spread of viruses:

1. Stay home if you’re sick. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested.

2. Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.

3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.

4. Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth. And avoid shaking hands.

5. Keep 1.5 metres away from others as much as you can — think two big steps.

* * *

Queensland Breakdown

Health Service  Active  Recovered  Deaths Total 
Cairns and Hinterland 1 36 0 37
Central Queensland 1 8 1 10
Central West 0 0 0 0
Darling Downs 0 40 2 42
Gold Coast 2 191 0 193
Mackay 0 15 0 15
Metro North 1 313 3 317
Metro South 2 262 0 264
North West 0 0 0 0
South West 0 0 0 0
Sunshine Coast 0 93 1 94
Torres and Cape 0 0 0 0
Townsville 0 24 0 24
West Moreton 0 38 0 38
Wide Bay 0 24 0 24
Total 7 1044 7 1058*

* Queensland Health notes that changes may occur in the number of notifications reported from day-to-day. This is due to updates as new information becomes available or where discrepancies are detected through data quality assurance activities.

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