False COVID-19 test result declared for late QLD miner

The passing of a 30-year-old Blackwater miner has been incorrectly linked to COVID-19, with a post-mortem test confirming a false positive result for the virus.

Huge efforts of COVID-19 testing has occurred in the mining town of Blackwater in the past week, with Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young stating the response was a necessary precaution.

“On May 27, a post-mortem test on a man from Blackwater returned positive for COVID-19 and his partner confirmed he had been unwell with flu-like symptoms for a number of weeks,” she said.

“On that basis Queensland Health established a rapid public health response, including quarantining and testing close contacts, expanding COVID-19 testing in Blackwater and talking to the community, as it would expect us to do.

“The coroner tonight advised that further tests have returned negative for COVID-19.”

The testing misstep has been acknowledged by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has since apologised to the man’s family.

“You know I really want to say to the family that we’re incredibly sorry that that has happened,” she said.

“To the family I know that is still grieving and I don’t want them to be stressed anymore, I know it is a very tough time for them but we do know that the coroner made that finding yesterday and we accept that finding.”

Australia’s previous mining-linked COVID-19 case, which involved a BHP Mitsubishi Alliance worker, was also confirmed to receive a negative result after testing positive for the virus.

The cause of the man’s death remains unconfirmed.

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