5 Oct 2021

Victoria records 1763 new Covid-19 infections, four deaths in highest daily case count to date

3:13 pm on 5 October 2021

Victoria has recorded 1763 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 and four more deaths of people with the virus.

The new infections were found from 62,189 test results processed on Monday.

People walk their dogs in Melbourne on 30 September 2021 as the city grapples with a surge in Covid-19 infections.

People seen in Melbourne, Victoria on 30 September 2021. Photo: AFP

It represents the highest daily number of local cases ever recorded in any state or territory, surpassing the peak of 1599 recorded in the New South Wales outbreak.

It is a dramatic rise from the 1488 that was Victoria's previous high, which was taken from Friday's tests.

On that day, authorities warned that if infection rates continued to rise, there would be grave consequences for the health system, which is already experiencing ambulance ramping and workforce issues.

Premier Daniel Andrews did not rule out changes to the roadmap out of lockdown if cases rose faster than projected, urging people to stick with the rules until it was safe to lift restrictions.

Under the current plan, which abandons the previous goal of completely suppressing the virus, the lockdown will lift once 70 per cent of the 16+ population has had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The latest daily tally is the sixth in a row with a case count above 1000, and the seven-day average of new local infections now sits at 1340.

The spread is largely being attributed to the virus getting into large households and banned contact in homes such as family or social gatherings.

The Burnet Institute modelling underpinning the roadmap forecasts a seven-day average of 1400 to 2900 daily cases between 19 and 31 October.

There have been hopes the rapid rise would begin to stabilise in Victoria once the state hit the 50 percent double-dose mark, as happened in New South Wales.

State and Commonwealth vaccination figures differ slightly but indicate about 82 percent of Victorians aged over 16 have received at least one dose of vaccine and around 52 percent are fully vaccinated.

But according to health authorities, a large number of illegal social gatherings - especially around the AFL grand final long weekend - have helped the virus find its way into households and suburbs that were previously untouched by the virus.

In a rare bit of positive news, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton yesterday said the outbreaks in Melbourne's hard-hit northern suburbs had begun to stabilise as vaccination rates were boosted.

Construction reopens as contact tracing changes

The tally comes as construction reopens after a two-week shutdown in locked-down parts of the state.

The closure of the industry came amid concern about hundreds of cases linked to construction sites and coincided with violent protests about vaccine mandates.

There are now 14,368 active infections across the state, which is another grim record for the state.

During the state's deadly second wave last year, the number of active cases peaked at 6717.

With that number projected to keep rising, the health department will stop listing tier 2 exposure sites - which require anyone who visited the venue at the specified time to be tested - on its website.

It is the latest in a line of changes made by a stretched contact tracing team, which recently started sending texts to inform Covid-positive patients of their status, or to release people from quarantine, rather than calling.

Strict quarantine rules for exposure at supermarkets and schools have been relaxed.

NSW has 608 new cases, seven deaths

New South Wales recorded 608 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday.

Seven people with Covid-19 died in the reporting period.

South Western Sydney saw five deaths, while western Sydney and Dubbo in western NSW both had one additional coronavirus death.

Five people were not vaccinated, and two people had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Those fatalities bring the state's total Covid-19 related deaths to 385 people since the outbreak began in June and 441 since the start of the pandemic.

The state continues to edge closer to its 70 percent vaccination target.

A total of 88.5 percent of adults over the age of 16 have had one dose of the vaccine and 67.5 percent have had both doses.

The case numbers continue to drop, down 11 locally transmitted cases compared with Monday.

At the current rate of vaccination, NSW is expected to hit the target to start partial reopening on 11 October, in just two days.

There are 190 people in intensive care, and 94 requiring ventilation, the state's lowest ICU numbers since mid-September.

Meanwhile, ACT today reported 33 new locally acquired cases, Queensland reported two new community Covid-19 cases and no new cases were reported in South Australia or Tasmania.


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