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QLD town sewage tested for coronavirus source

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The sewage of the Queensland town of Blackwater will be tested in the hopes of detecting how many people have been exposed to or unknowingly have the virus.

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

The testing could also reveal how many people in Blackwater may have been exposed or unknowingly have coronavirus if the 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 from her job after she continued to show up for work at a Rockhampton nursing home when she had coronavirus symptoms and while waiting on test results.

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

Mr Turner became Australia's youngest coronavirus fatality on Tuesday with authorities no closer to pinpointing how he contracted the virus. 

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

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles says a formal investigation would get to the bottom of critical questions, including the fact that the nurse had not revealed she had travelled to Kuala Lumpur in late 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 yesterday.

He urged all Queenslanders to be honest, truthful and fulsome if they are contacted by health officials.

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"Lives are literally at risk, our public health officials are doing their best to keep Queenslanders safe," he said.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said it was fortunate no one at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre, where the nurse worked, had contracted coronavirus.

Residents who were moved out of the centre will slowly be returned.

For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play. You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App StoreGoogle Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Reported with AAP.

Source: 9News

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