October 3, 2022


NSW residents are being advised to retest themselves for COVID-19 four weeks after having had the virus, with authorities warning it can be contracted again after just one month.

NSW Health has today revised the COVID-19 reinfection period from 12 weeks down to four weeks following advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the reduced reinfection period was due to the latest subvariants of Omicron circulating in the community.

People are being advised to retest themselves after four weeks. (Anna Kucera)

“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,” 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.”

People who test positive again 28 days or more after their first positive test will be reported and managed as new cases.

Dr Chant is also urging those who are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose to access it as soon as possible ahead of an expected peak in cases in the coming weeks.

People aged 50 to 64 years are now recommended to receive a second or winter booster dose, which is available to all those aged 30 and over.

Dr Kerry Chant
Dr Kerry Chant has advised people to get their booster shots. (Nine)

“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.

Dr Chant said while most cases of COVID-19 are mild, some members of the community are at a risk of severe infection and may be able to access antiviral medications to treat their infection.

“Antivirals work best when taken at the beginning of a COVID infection, so it is really important that if you are at high risk, you plan ahead, speak with a doctor so you understand the treatment options which are available to you if you test positive for COVID-19,” Dr Chant said.

A tunnel through which El Chapo allegedly escaped prison.

Drug lord’s spectacular tunnel escape

All members of the community are being asked to stay home in they are unwell, wear a mask in public indoor spaces and to take a rapid antigen test for COVID-19 before visiting vulnerable loved ones or going to large gatherings and events.


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