Important COVID-19 announcement on COVID-19 Reinfection Period

Late on Friday (8 July) the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) released a change of advice regarding the COVID-19 reinfection period:

AHPPC advises that the reinfection period be reduced from 12 weeks to 28 days.  People who test positive to COVID-19 more than 28 days after ending isolation due to previous infection should be reported and managed as new cases.

This means the 12 week ‘halo’ period where people do not test for COVID-19 or be subject to a 7-day home isolation order has in effect being reduced from 12 weeks to 4 weeks.

In their advice, AHPPC indicated that reinfections with the more transmissible BA.4/BA.5 sub variants may occur as early as 28 days after recovery from a previous COVID-19 infection.

NIHRACS has updated its test/isolation directions for recovered COVID-19 cases to align with this advice.

The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants are now seen as the dominant strains of COVID-19 in Australia, and it is expected there will be increased numbers of reinfections among those who have previously had COVID- 19.

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