News National Household COVID isolation rules end across Australia
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Household COVID isolation rules end across Australia

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No state now requires close contacts of COVID-19 positive people to isolate, unless unwell.
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Household contacts of people infected with COVID-19 are no longer required to isolate in any Australian state.

Tasmania on Monday became the last jurisdiction to eliminate the requirement for people to isolate for a week if a member of their household had the virus.

There are about 330,000 active coronavirus cases across the country, with more than 3000 in hospital with the virus.

Meanwhile, NSW and Victorian health authorities confirmed last week they had detected evidence of two new sub-variants of the Omicron strain – BA.4 and BA.2.12.1.

The World Health Organisation has declared the BA.4 strain a highly transmissible variant of concern.

An article in the Medical Journal of Australia published on Monday documented the “huge challenges” the virus presented for general practices in the past two years.

Author Claire Jackson from the University of Queensland, said digital innovation, phone and videoconference consulting, remote monitoring, and new models of care offering optimal access had been “the big winners from the COVID‐19 experience”.

While telehealth rebates were modest, digital access to GPs had been embraced by patients “and will be hard to unwind”.

“At this time, the vast majority of those affected have mild disease and are able to manage well at home with practice telehealth support,” the report said.

“2022 will no doubt present new challenges as COVID‐19 continues to alarm, dismay and disconcert.

“The only certainty is our acknowledged inability to precisely predict its direction, impact and eventual defeat.”

Western Australia’s government meanwhile announced it will provide a further 10 free rapid antigen tests to close contacts who are asymptomatic.

The tests, which can be collected at vaccination and testing clinics across the state, are in addition to the 15 free tests that are already being distributed to every household.

Australia’s latest 24-hour COVID data:

NSW: 7723 cases, five deaths, 1656 in hospital, 72 in ICU

Victoria: 8109 cases, one death, 456 in hospital, 26 in ICU

Tasmania: 900 cases, three deaths, 46 in hospital, two in ICU

Western Australia: 5847 cases, no deaths, 240 in hospital, six in ICU

Northern Territory: 248 cases, 44 in hospital, one in ICU

South Australia: 3143 cases, three deaths, 257 in hospital, 15 in ICU