COVID-19 reinfections on the rise across Australia as experts warn Omicron ‘has tricks up its sleeve’

At 105, May Harrison might just be Australia’s oldest COVID survivor.

May recently fended off the virus and this week celebrated her 105th birthday, surrounded by family and friends.

“I was very sick and when I came out of it, I was very weak, but I got over it,” she told the ABC.

“We were to have had a bigger [party] on the Sydney Harbor but they didn’t think I was strong enough.

“But I love my parties.”

May is one of the nearly 46,000 Australian aged care residents who have contracted COVID since the start of the pandemic.

May enjoying her 105th birthday after recovering from COVID.
May enjoying her 105th birthday after recovering from COVID. (ABC News: Supplied)

And although the daily press conferences are long gone — and, for many people, life has returned to something much closer to normal — COVID cases in Australia remain at around 45,000 per day.

Experts are warning that COVID still “has tricks up its sleeve” with reinfections rising and new strains emerging.

Aged care under COVID strain

Last week, there were more 780 active outbreaks in aged care facilities and the sector is under pressure.

Whiddon Aged Care runs 20 centers across NSW and Queensland, including the facility where May lives in south-west Sydney.

Its chief executive, Chris Mamarelis, said the company had strict health and safety practices on site, but the high community transmission across the country meant the impact of COVID-19 was still a threat.

“All of our homes are being impacted by COVID,” he said.

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