Victoria has confirmed 57 more local coronavirus cases – the state’s highest daily tally since the second wave.
Thursday’s update came as Melburnians marked their 200th day in lockdown since the pandemic began.
The health department said 54 of the new cases were linked to known outbreaks, while 44 had been in isolation throughout their infectious period.
It leaves three cases under investigation.
Some 49,607 tests were processed in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, while 27,581 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.
Victorian authorities had already flagged a spike in cases because of day-13 testing for close contacts associated with outbreaks at some large Melbourne schools, including Al-Taqwa College and Mount Alexander College.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Martin Foley said more than 10,000 close contacts of known COVID-19 cases were due for day-13 testing in coming days.
However, state authorities are also increasingly concerned at the number of mystery cases emerging in St Kilda, in Melbourne’s inner south-east.
Testing and vaccination have been stepped up in the area, with new pop-up clinics for both.
“We’re really encouraging anyone who lives, works, or visits or actively uses that St Kilda area to please consider coming forward to get tested,” COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said on Wednesday.