What to know about COVID-19 rising in the community

2 mins
Chris Maher AO
July 12th, 2022

COVID-19 is extremely widespread at the moment; a cold winter, eased restrictions and eager school holiday travelers have all contributed to the potential for increased spread. Our infectious disease expert Chris Maher AO shares the latest information to keep you safe and informed.

The details…

  • The recent rise in cases has accelerated globally. Average daily cases have risen by 25% in Australia in the past week and the country is back up towards 1,500 cases per million per population per day.
  • Hospitalisation numbers are increasing and are up again by one-third on the lows achieved in mid-June. NSW is suffering the most significant rise in the number of new cases and hospitalisations, with QLD and Victoria also rising.
  • In Europe, cases are rising very quickly in France, Spain, and Italy, with these countries experiencing their highest peak in the last 3 months.
  • The spread is driven by new sub-variants, in particular by the BA.5 sub-variant of Omicron. This is now the dominant variant being detected in NSW and many other localities globally.
  • Two new sub-variants of concern have recently been flagged globally, one related to BA.2 and the other to BA.5. The potential impact is not yet clear but these sub-variants appear to show high infectivity.

What to expect…

  • Expect a minimum of 6 weeks of relatively high levels of transmission and significant numbers of cases.
  • The pressure on the health system and society, in general, is now very high. Disruptions to a range of activities and services should be expected.

What to do….

  • After Action Reviews and assessing lessons learnt from earlier peaks can really help businesses, organisations and communities to effectively respond to the current peak.
  • People over 50 can now get their 4th dose. Remember that vaccination is key to both reducing your risk of catching the virus and to lessening its impact on your health.
Read more on how to stay prepared
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