Victoria has reported a record 1965 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, and five further deaths. The figure is a record for any Australian state or territory.
The grim milestone comes amid hopes of more freedoms with higher vaccination rates.
Victorian health department deputy secretary Kate Matson said 735 of the 1965 cases reported today were in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. There were 464 cases in the west of Melbourne.
The south-east had 533 transmissions and the eastern suburbs had 125 cases.
There were also 90 new cases in regional Victoria, including 20 in Mildura, which entered a seven-day lockdown overnight.
Ms Matson said she hoped the short lockdown will enable the Delta outbreak to be contained.
“The short lockdown will assist us to get our arms around the outbreak and ensure hopefully that Mildura can again return to the same settings as regional Victoria in another seven days.”
Change to COVID-19 zero goal
Ms Matson said Victoria is no longer pursuing a COVID-19 zero strategy after she announced that the state will no longer require secondary close contacts to isolate.
While it has been the policy in Melbourne for some time, it will now be extended to all of Victoria.
“It will also make it easier for household members of primary close contacts to get groceries and work while the primary close contact is isolated away from the rest of the household,” Ms Matson said.
“Again, there is a very important difference between someone who is known to have come into contact with a confirmed case, and then someone who has come into contact with that primary close contact. And the risk is different.
“So this just recognises the changing risk and the changing environment that we are in we are no longer chasing Covid zero in Victoria, and we have 17,000 active cases in Victoria at this point in time.”
But Ms Matson stressed that secondary close contacts who have symptoms should still get tested and isolate.