There❜s a New COVID Reinfection Period and New Subvariants of Omicron Circulating Widely in NSW

  • All Ages

In case you missed it, NSW Health has revised the COVID-19 reinfection period from 12 weeks to four weeks, effective from Tuesday, 12 July 2022.

What does that mean? Well, suppose you feel Covid or Covid-like symptoms four weeks (28 days) after a positive diagnosis of Covid, and your isolation period has ended. In that case, you'll need to isolate and test for Covid again. 

Until this week, this period between re-testing and re-isolating was 12 weeks. 

The news is definitely not a reason to panic. 


Below, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has explained why the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee was to reduce the reinfection period in this way.

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

"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."

Current vaccination advice clarified by Dr Chant is that 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."

While this is a disappointing development, it's definitely not a reason to panic. 

The NSW Health Website recommends that we do small things to help protect those most at risk as a community.

That list includes the following. 

  • 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
  • Take a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 before visiting vulnerable loved ones or attending large gatherings and events.

For more information, head to The NSW Health Website.

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