Driveways in a small Queensland town have been lit up to honour a man who died with coronavirus, as authorities try to work out how the virus reached the town.

Three testing clinics have been set up in the tight community of Blackwater after former miner Nathan Turner was found dead by his partner on Tuesday.

Anxiety is high as a specialist team works to determine how the 30-year-old got the virus given he had not travelled outside his town since February.

Mr Turner returned a positive coronavirus test after he died. He also had other health issues. A coroner will determine what killed him.

Family, friends and neighbours honoured his life on Thursday night, with people lighting candles in the driveways of their homes.

The vigil was also an act of support for Mr Turner’s fiancee Simone Devon, who is grieving for her partner in isolation as she undergoes repeated tests for the virus.

The two she’s had so far have been negative.


“We are overwhelmed and very grateful,” Simone’s mother Lorraine told The Courier-Mail. “We never expected this.”

Vigil organiser Annette Boase says the presence of the virus in her town has scared a lot of people.

“I didn’t know Simone or (Nathan) but I wanted her to know we’re thinking of her,” she has told The Courier-Mail. “She’s in isolation and she’s just lost her partner.”

Local state Lachlan Millar agrees anxiety levels are high and has appealed for calm.

“There are a lot of people pointing fingers at the moment, but that isn’t the right way to go about it,” Mr Millar has told AAP.

Mr Turner last left the coal mining town in February and had been experiencing respiratory symptoms since early May.


Authorities are pleading with anyone in Blackwater, and across Queensland, who has symptoms to get tested.


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