Victoria has added 1965 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections to its caseload along with five deaths.
The state now has more than 17,000 active coronavirus cases.
The escalation of the Delta outbreak comes with residents in regional Mildura waking to a new seven-day lockdown.
People in two other towns will start their weekend in relative freedom after restrictions were eased overnight.
Health authorities say 41,177 vaccine doses were administered across the state in the 24 hours to Friday evening. Almost 3.9 million jabs have been administered in total.
Victoria also conducted more than 73,000 virus tests on Friday.
Chief health officer Brett Sutton declared on Friday evening that Mildura Rural City Council residents would be plunged into lockdown from midnight, giving locals just over six hours’ notice.
There are now 12 active COVID-19 cases in the area, with health officials hoping the lockdown will prevent the outbreak from escalating.
Mildura will be under the same stay-at-home rules as Melbourne, excluding the curfew, with a 15-kilometre travel limit and a ban on visitors to people’s homes.
Doing the right thing
Meanwhile, Greater Shepparton and Moorabool Shire exited their lockdowns at 11.59pm on Friday, with rules now matching the rest of regional Victoria, including masks indoors and out, and a ban on home gatherings.
Professor Sutton paid tribute to locals for helping to drive case numbers down.
“I really thank everyone in the community for staying safe, staying apart, and doing the right thing,” he said.
A small tweak to the mask rules also came into effect at midnight on Friday, with adults now allowed to remove their face mask to consume alcohol while outdoors.
Prof Sutton believes Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak is nearing its peak.
Another record-breaking day of case numbers – 1838 infections were reported on Friday and five deaths.
The chief health officer said rising vaccination levels were ensuring the rate of people being hospitalised or placed into intensive care was not growing as quickly as the daily case numbers.