Victoria records 779 new local cases of COVID-19 and two further deaths

Over the past 24 hours, Victoria has recorded two further COVID-19 deaths and 779 new locally acquired infections, as locked-down parts of the state wait to find out if restrictions will ease.

The deaths take the toll from the state’s second wave to 24.

Meanwhile, the new infections were detected from 46,322 test results processed on Saturday.

It brings the number of active infections in the state to 8,011, the vast majority of those acquired in the community.

Case numbers had been rising sharply, with yesterday’s tally of 847 a record-high count.

The infections have been driven primarily by household transmission and household-to-household contact, despite home visits being banned.

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There were concerns illegal gatherings for last night’s AFL grand final could contribute to further spread.

Anti-lockdown protests held throughout the week have also led to fears of “superspreader” events.

Protesters gathered in smaller groups on Saturday, the sixth day of loosely organised rallies, before being dispersed by police.

There were 94 arrests on Saturday, 200 on Friday and hundreds more across the week.

Geelong, Surf Coast and the Mitchell Shire are on their seventh day of a scheduled week-long lockdown.

Health Minister Martin Foley yesterday confirmed restrictions would lift in Victoria’s Surf Coast from 11:59pm tonight, but warned that the lockdown could be extended in Geelong and Mitchell Shire.

Dozens more exposure sites have been listed in regional Victoria, including in the Geelong area.

Mr Foley said things were “looking really positive” in Geelong, but Mitchell Shire was less likely to leave lockdown.

There were 34,280 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in state-run sites yesterday.

The latest federal data shows nearly 77 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and above have had one dose of a vaccine, while nearly 47 per cent have had both.

It means the state is slightly behind schedule with hitting its 80 per cent single-dose target, with the milestone now expected to be met early this week instead of today.

Once the target is met, there will be a slight easing of restrictions in Melbourne, including the opening of golf courses.

More to come.

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