Victoria has 14 more locally acquired coronavirus cases, all linked to current outbreaks.
Ten of Friday’s cases were in isolation throughout their infectious period, while interviews continue with another.
Friday’s update came from 43,500 tests across Victoria in the previous 24-hour period. They take the number of cases in the state’s latest outbreaks of the Delta variant of the virus to 147.
Premier Daniel Andrews said there was “literally an army of people working 24/7 to chase down every lead” in the Victorian outbreaks.
For millions of Victorians heading into a second week of lockdown, Friday’s update will be a welcome relief after the 26 cases reported on Thursday.
Victoria’s lockdown is due to last until at least July 27, with Mr Andrews less than keen to guarantee it would end then.
“It’s very difficult for us today, on Friday, to be able to predict what happens next Tuesday at midnight. But I would say that the trend is with us, these results are encouraging, they are positive,” he said.
“Whether the next results continue that way, we will know with the passage of time.”
Mr Andrews said Victoria remained concerned about the worsening virus crisis in NSW, where authorities declared a “national emergency” on Friday.
“If there is a national emergency – and I do not doubt that for a minute – in Sydney, it’s a national decision that Sydneysiders are locked into Sydney, we need a ring of steel around Sydney so that this is not spreading to other parts of the nation,” he said.
“Let’s focus on not spreading what is going on in Sydney across the rest of our country. We will finish up with the whole country locked down if we don’t do this properly.”
Friday’s Victorian update came as 41 workers at a Melbourne hospital remain temporarily stood down after a fellow staffer worked a shift while infectious with COVID-19.
The employee of Casey Hospital, a 229-bed facility in the city’s outer south-east, returned a positive test on Tuesday.
Monash Health, which manages the hospital, confirmed the case late on Thursday.
Elsewhere, a popular Melbourne market will reopen on Friday after a COVID-positive shopper forced it to shut.
- See all of Victoria’s COVID exposure sites here
One of the 26 local cases reported in Victoria on Thursday spent almost 90 minutes at Prahran Market and Market Lane Coffee last Saturday.
The entire market was listed as a tier-one site exposure site, with about 900 people who visited during the time period required to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.
It was closed for deep cleaning on Thursday but has been given the all-clear to reopen on Friday. Traders and their staff who were at the market during the exposure times must remain in isolation.
The shopper’s case is linked to the AAMI Park outbreak, with authorities believing they picked up the virus while queuing outside Gate 7 before the Australia-France rugby union Test match on July 13.
There are more than 390 exposure sites, with a shopping centre, Woolworths, Coles and cake shop all in Malvern added as tier-two sites on Thursday afternoon.
Victoria has seven virus patients in hospital, including two in intensive care. One patients acquired their COVID infection overseas.