New protocols for positive COVID-19 cases and isolation - what members need to know

The WA Government have announced changes to testing and isolation requirements, new protocols for positive COVID-19 cases and a revised definition of a close contact.

These changes apply from Tuesday 8 February 2022.

There are a number of different protocols for different situations. This communication will focus on those most relevant to NECA members and their work environments.

(1) New protocols for positive COVID-19 cases

a) Report

  • If you undertake a PCR test, your positive result will automatically be recorded by WA Health. However, if you are unable to access a PCR test and have instead received a positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), you must report that result to WA Health online via this link.

b) Self-isolate

  • You must self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days.

c) On Isolation day 7;

  • If you still have COVID symptoms, you must remain in isolation until you are symptom free.
  • If you have no symptoms, you may leave self-isolation. 
  • A negative PCR or RAT test is not required on Day 7 if you have previously tested positive for COVID-19.

(2) New definition of a close contact

A close contact is now defined as:

  • A household member or intimate partner of an infectious case.
  • 15 minutes face-to-face, or 2 hours in a room where either you or the infectious person was not wearing a mask.
  • Someone who has been notified by WA Health that they are a close contact.

(3) Protocol for critical workers

Electrical workers (EWs) are considered essential workers in both the Building and Construction and the Critical Resources, Power Utilities and Waste Management categories of the Government’s recently released definitions

As essential workers, EWs may be given an exemption from the isolation rules and be allowed to continue to attend work if they are a close contact of a COVID-positive person, provided they show no symptoms and wear a mask. However, they must also undertake a RA test every day for 7 days and register a negative test each day. 

If they show symptoms at any stage, they will need to go into isolation and obviously if they test positive, they must also go into isolation. 

Please refer to Diagram 3 in the government’s COVID-19 Testing and Isolation Protocols Guide for more details about critical workers.

(4) Self-isolation protocols for close contacts

There are a number for different protocols regarding the various situations in which you may need to isolate 

Click here to view an explanation of the self-isolation protocols for close contacts. 

(5) Staff leave due to COVID-19 rules 

NECA WA recently circulated a communication to Members regarding employee leave as it relates to COVID-19 isolation and testing. That information can be found here.

(6) Update on Casual Contacts 

'Casual contact' will no longer be classified, however if you develop symptoms for any reason, you must undertake a PCR test and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result. RATs are only to be used in this situation if access to a PCR test is not available. However, if you take a RA test rather than a PCR test, you must record two negative tests over a two-day period to leave isolation.

If you have any further questions regarding these new rules please give us a call on (08) 6241 6100 or email

Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice.