Nathan Turner death: scientists to test town's sewage to try and solve coronavirus mystery


Scientists will sift through the sewage of a central Queensland town to try to find the source of a Covid-19 infection that claimed the life of a 30-year-old man.

Meanwhile primary school students in Melbourne, Victoria, have been placed into home quarantine for two weeks after one member of the year 2 class at the Holy Eucharist primary school in St Auburns tested positive to Covid-19. Other students from that class have been asked to quarantine.

The infection was linked to the previously reported outbreak at Keilor Downs secondary college.

As Queensland recorded no new Covid-19 cases and only six active cases on Saturday, authorities remain baffled by the Blackwater infection.

Testing the sewage could also reveal how many people in Blackwater may have been exposed or unknowingly have the virus if traces are detected in the waste.

Meanwhile investigators are working to “untangle” the changing story of a nurse at the centre of two coronavirus scares in Queensland to determine if she could be the source.

The unnamed nurse has been suspended after she continued to show up for work at a Rockhampton nursing home despite having symptoms, and while waiting on test results.

Questions are also being asked about a sightseeing road trip she took to Blackwater during the lockdown after local man Nathan Turner died with the virus.

Turner became Australia’s youngest coronavirus fatality on Tuesday but authorities are no closer to pinpointing how he contracted the virus.

Turner suffered from chronic illnesses and was later found to have the virus. A coroner will determine what killed him.

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The deputy premier and health minister, Steven Miles, said a formal investigation would get to the bottom of critical questions, such as why the nurse did not reveal she had travelled to Kuala Lumpur in March.

“It appears to be incredibly unlikely that somebody wasn’t asked if they had travelled overseas when that is such a focus of our investigation efforts for all coronavirus cases,” he said on Friday.

Victoria recorded 11 new cases of Covid-19 overnight, three of which were linked to the Keilor Downs cluster and four to the outbreak at the Rydges hotel on Swanston Street in Melbourne’s CBD, where international travellers have been undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine. That brings the total number of staff at the Rydges who have tested positive to six after the first two security guards tested positive on Wednesday.

Thirteen people in international quarantine at the hotel have also tested positive.

All 11 cases linked to the Keilor Downs school cluster are from the same extended family. A drive through testing site has been set up at the Keilor Community Hub to help curb the outbreak.

Victoria is readying to loosen its coronavirus restrictions. From Monday, cafes, restaurants, libraries, galleries, museums, amusement parks, places of worship, beauty clinics, nail salons and massage parlours will be allowed to reopen with no more than 20 people inside.

New South Wales has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 overnight. The state still has 71 active cases.

The NSW health department says 9,452 tests were carried out yesterday, bringing the total number of tests conducted in that state since the outbreak began to 494,000.

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