Victoria records 2297 new COVID cases, 11 deaths

Victoria has posted a new record daily increase in COVID-19 cases with 2297 new infections overnight.

The state also recorded a further 11 deaths.

The spike in new cases comes after more than 82,000 tests were carried out yesterday.

The state is now dealing with 20,505 active cases of COVID.

It was hoped Victoria had turned the corner after several consecutive days where case numbers fell.

But the surge appears unlikely to stop Melbourne from coming out of lockdown within a couple of weeks.

Victoria is forecast to reach its 70 per cent vaccination target before the expected date of October 26 which will see the end of the state’s sixth lockdown.

Victoria records 1965 cases, five deaths

Victoria has added 1965 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections to its caseload along with five deaths.

The state now has more than 17,000 active coronavirus cases.

The escalation of the Delta outbreak comes with residents in regional Mildura waking to a new seven-day lockdown.

People in two other towns will start their weekend in relative freedom after restrictions were eased overnight.

Health authorities say 41, 177 vaccine doses were administered across the state in the 24 hours to Friday evening. Almost 3.9 million jabs have been administered in total.

Victoria also conducted more than 73,000 virus tests on Friday.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton declared on Friday evening that Mildura Rural City Council residents would be plunged into lockdown from midnight, giving locals just over six hours’ notice.

There are now 12 active COVID-19 cases in the area, with health officials hoping the lockdown will prevent the outbreak from escalating.

Mildura will be under the same stay-at-home rules as Melbourne, excluding the curfew, with a 15-kilometre travel limit and a ban on visitors at people’s homes.

Meanwhile, Greater Shepparton and Moorabool Shire exited their lockdowns at 11.59pm on Friday, with rules now matching the rest of regional Victoria including masks indoors and out, and a ban on home gatherings.

Professor Sutton paid tribute to locals for helping to drive case numbers down.

“I really thank everyone in the community for staying safe, staying apart, and doing the right thing,” he said.

A small tweak to the mask rules also came into effect at midnight on Friday, with adults now allowed to remove their face mask to consume alcohol while outdoors.

Prof Sutton believes Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak is nearing its peak.

Another record-breaking day of case numbers – 1838 infections were reported on Friday and five deaths.

The chief health officer said rising vaccination levels were ensuring the rate of people being hospitalised or placed into intensive care was not growing as quickly as the daily case numbers.

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Vic premier fined $400 over maskless walks

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been fined $400 for breaching coronavirus restrictions after he failed to wear a mask as he arrived at parliament on two occasions this week.

Police on Friday confirmed they had issued two $200 infringement notices after footage emerged of Mr Andrews walking without a face mask as he arrived at parliament on Wednesday and Thursday.

On both days, Mr Andrews wore a mask as he was driven to parliament but took it off before he walked through the car park to awaiting media.

In a statement, Mr Andrews said before he approached two news conferences this week, he removed his mask “after leaving the car, before I walked to the back doors” (of parliament).

“I expect Victoria Police to assess this and if they choose to issue a fine, of course I will pay it,” he said.

“If they do not issue a fine I will donate the same value to a charity working to support people in this pandemic because whilst this was an oversight, oversights matter. Everyone needs to follow the rules and I am sorry it occurred.”

Under the chief health officer’s directions, Melburnians aged over 12 must wear a fitted face mask whenever they leave their home, indoors or outdoors, unless a lawful exception applies, such as for broadcasting purposes.

Those caught breaking the direction face a fine of $200.

Treasurer Tim Pallas defended the premier, who he said had been “pretty diligent in terms of his behaviour” throughout the pandemic.

“I had a brief look at the footage and it looks like he is approaching a camera for the purpose of doing a piece to camera. You are allowed to not wear a mask for that,” he told reporters at the daily COVID-19 briefing on Friday.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said most Victorians had “momentarily forgotten a mask” but noted Mr Andrews walked “some distance” without wearing his.

“He’s done it in front of media, which is probably a bit silly but I will leave that to police,” he said.

© AAP 2021

Victoria records 1,838 cases, experts warn case numbers could double

It’s another grim day on the coronavirus front in Victoria, with another national daily record of cases reported.

1,838 new infections were picked up over the last 24 hours, which is the highest number of any of the states during the covid pandemic.

Despite case numbers continuing to rise, experts have warned that they’re not going to decline any time soon.

“Modelling does show that we expect case numbers to go up in the next couple of weeks before they start to plateau and turn around. So unfortunately we’re expecting more cases,” Doctor Katherine Gibney from the Doherty Institute told The Today Show this morning.

“It could even double before the end of the month, which is a worst-case scenario.

“There’s no doubt that it is a strain on the hospital system already, but it is being managed in terms of spreading cases around Victorian hospitals, everyone’s working together to make sure we can get through this as best we can.

“But it’s going to be a tough few months on the hospital system,” Doctor Gibney said.

There was also five further death reported in the last 24 hours, taking the state’s covid death toll to 895.

There are also reports that a police officer is now in a serious condition in hospital after contracting the virus at the anti-vaccine protests in Melbourne.

The Victorian Police Association has confirmed that two officers became infected during the demonstrations.

Victoria posts record breaking daily case numbers, amid world’s longest lockdown

It’s been a record-breaking 24 hours for the state of Victoria, but none of it is good news.

There’s been another 1,763 infections diagnosed overnight, the highest daily number reported in the whole of the country.

While today also marks the world’s longest lockdown, with Melbourne now beginning its 247th day with the stay at home restrictions in place.

Unfortunately, a further four people have passed away from the virus, bringing the state’s covid-19 death toll to 877.

Over 35,000 vaccines were administered overnight, while over 62,000 people came forward for testing.

Authorities will provide more information later today.