Queensland’s premier and her deputy have apologised to the family of a man who tested positive and then negative for COVID-19.

The town of Blackwater was swarmed by health officials desperate to trace the source of Nathan Turner’s supposed fatal infection while his family and loves ones grieved in quarantine.

The 30-year-old initially tested positive after he died last week, but further tests returned a negative result.

On Tuesday, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the former miner’s family will never know if he had the disease.

“There are two potential answers here,” she said.

“One is that it was a false positive. The other is that it was a true positive and we won’t know which it was.”


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Steven Miles apologised to Mr Turner’s family, his loved ones and the town of Blackwater for the distress the government’s response had caused.

“We have to treat every positive test as though it is a positive case,” Mr Miles.

“However, I would like to personally apologise to his partner and his family for any distress that our actions in responding rapidly has caused them. I know it’s been incredibly distressing for them.”

Meanwhile, a woman who arrived in Brisbane on a flight from Africa last week has tested positive to coronavirus.

She and all other passengers who arrived in Queensland have been in quarantine since they arrived.