WA Drops COVID Reinfection Period To Four Weeks Amid Latest Omicron Wave

BA.4 and BA.5 evading immunity


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Western Australia on Monday reduced 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 that 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.

In addition, the close contact exemption period has also been reduced to four weeks.

While close contacts with no symptoms do not need to isolate, provided they undertake a daily rapid antigen test (RAT), always wear a mask when outside the home and avoid high-risk settings such as hospitals and aged care facilities.

Close contacts who do present with symptoms must get tested and isolate.

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WA Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson said the new Omicron sub-variants were driving reinfections between four and 12 weeks after the initial infection.

“BA.4 and BA.5 are making up an increasing percentage of our cases, rising to more than 60 per cent of cases in the last week,” Dr Robertson said.

“This means that people who have had Covid-19 should again get tested and isolate if they have symptoms more than 28 days after recovering from Covid-19.”

- Dr Robertson

WA Health is yet to clarify whether a recovered case will remain exempt from being considered a close contact for 12 weeks following their infection.

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11 July 2022

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