NSW Reduces COVID Reinfection Period From 12 To Four Weeks Amid Latest Omicron Wave

BA.4 and BA.5 evading immunity


Article heading image for NSW Reduces COVID Reinfection Period From 12 To Four Weeks Amid Latest Omicron Wave

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NSW joined WA and the ACT on Tuesday in reducing the Covid reinfection period down from 12-weeks to just 28 days.

It follows recommended changes to the immunity period from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee on Friday due to a “new wave” of infections being driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants.

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The new rules mean people who have previously had coronavirus will be required to test for Covid after 28 days since their isolation ended.

If the test returns a negative result, people are still urged to stay home until their symptoms subside.

While someone who tests positive again will be reported and managed as a new case and that person must isolate for at least seven days.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant, said in a statement that the new advice was due to the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants “circulating widely in NSW”:

“The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are circulating widely in NSW. They are more able to evade immunity gained from previous infection and vaccination reinfection is more likely and possible just weeks after a prior infection.

“We’re urging people who have recently had Covid-19, even if they left isolation in the past four weeks, not to be complacent. If you develop symptoms again, make sure to test and isolate,” Dr Chant said.

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Dr Chant is also urging those who are eligible for a Covid booster dose to get the jab as soon as possible ahead of an expected peak in cases in the coming weeks.

“With the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the community driven by a wave of wave of BA.4 and BA.5 infections, it is vital people are up to date with their Covid-19 vaccinations, as this will provide the best protection against severe illness from Covid-19,” Dr Chant said.

Meanwhile, NSW residents are encouraged to help reduce the risk for more vulnerable members of the community by:

  • staying up to date with our vaccinations – for both flu and COVID-19
  • staying home if unwell, taking a COVID-19 test and self-isolating
  • wearing a mask in public indoor spaces
  • getting together outdoors or in large, well-ventilated spaces with open doors and windows
  • practising good hygiene by washing or sanitising our hands
  • taking a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 before visiting vulnerable loved ones or going to large gatherings and events.
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11 July 2022

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