Industry update: COVID-19 reinfection period changed from 12 weeks to four weeks

An update from the Department of Premier and Cabinet COVID-19 Communications team.

As winter continues, there’s increased community transmission of both COVID-19 and the flu, which means it’s really important we continue following health measures to keep us safe. Two significant announcements been made in the last week and summarised below to help you understand the most important details and pass onto your stakeholders and networks.

COVID-19 Reinfection Period

With increasing cases of new COVID-19 variants spreading in the community, the chance of reinfection is now more likely.

For this reason, the window for potential reinfection of COVID-19 has been reduced from after 12 weeks to after four weeks (28 days) from recovering from an initial infection, based on the latest expert advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). This means that effective immediately, recovered COVID-19 cases will be required to test for COVID-19 after 28 days, if experiencing symptoms, and follow the relevant advice if they test positive.

Understandably, this may have an impact on people and local businesses throughout the community, with more people expected to be isolating in the coming months. Support is available for businesses, as well as through the Test Isolation Payment Scheme, WA Free RAT Program and Think Mental Health.

For more information, see the announcement.

Winter Booster

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has updated its advice (external link) and expanded its recommendations for a winter booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

From today:

  • Adults aged 50 to 64 years are recommended to receive a winter booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Adults aged 30 to 49 years are also eligible to receive a winter booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The interval recommended between a recent COVID-19 infection or last booster dose is now three months.

For more information, please read the announcement on WA.gov.au.

How You Can Help

  1. Share above information across your channels to help ensure your networks and communities understands the change in testing and isolation requirements.
  2. Continue to remind people of the ways to stay safe this winter. Resources are available to help you share these messages.
  3. Follow the WA Government Facebook and Twitter pages to receive the latest information and updated explanations of the changes. Please feel free to share the posts on your own channels.