In a brief statement on Monday evening, authorities said a false positive test was behind the confusion, sparking a testing blitz in the remote mining town of Blackwater in Queensland State where the man lived.
After being found dead in his home last week, a post-mortem test returned positive for COVID-19, despite that the man had not left the town for several months and no other cases were reported within the vicinity.
Remote testing clinics were established and a specialist contact tracing team was sent to the area to solve the mystery, garnering national attention.
Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday apologized to the man’s family for the added grief and stressed they were forced to endure due to the heightened scrutiny.
“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.”
The man’s fiancee was also displaying symptoms before testing negative, and his actual cause of death was yet to be determined.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles also apologized for the grief caused to the man’s family, but added that every positive test needed to be treated as genuine.