News Coronavirus Victoria hits 92% vaxxed but COVID infections refuse to decline

Victoria hits 92% vaxxed but COVID infections refuse to decline

Massive anti-vax protests in Melbourne have been linked to a spate of COVID infections. Photo: Real Rukshan/Facebook
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Victoria has added 1193 new infections to its COVID-19 caseload along with 13 virus-related deaths.

The state is now managing more than 11,400 active coronavirus cases. There are 323 COVID patients in Victorian hospitals, 68 of them in intensive care and 29 who require ventilation.

Health officials say virus testers managed to process almost 83,000 results in the 24 hours to Friday evening.

Victoria is now 92 per cent vaccinated for everyone aged 12 and over.

Premier Daniel Andrews has, meanwhile, made his first pandemic declaration since new public health laws came into effect.

He confirmed in a statement on Friday that the mechanism would come into effect at 11.59pm on December 15, when the current state of emergency expires.

Mr Andrews says consulted with Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton and Health Minister Martin Foley before making the declaration, with Professor Sutton noting the widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in the state and thousands of active cases who require care.

The CHO also advised protective measures were necessary to ensure the Victorian health system is not overwhelmed.

A statement of reasons for the pandemic declaration and the advice of Professor Sutton and Mr Foley will be tabled in parliament, while a copy will also be published in the Government Gazette.

The declaration is a result of pandemic-specific legislation passing Victorian parliament last week.

New law in effect

The Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment bill allows the Premier to declare a pandemic and the health minister to enforce orders such as lockdowns, mask-wearing, vaccination mandates, and quarantine.

The new laws were required as the state of emergency could no longer be extended.

But they quickly became a lightning rod for anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination groups, who occupied the steps of state Parliament for weeks in protest.

Mr Andrews says the new framework has more oversight than a state of emergency, with an independent joint investigatory committee and the ability for the parliament to disallow pandemic orders.

Victoria recorded 1206 infections on Friday, with all except three locally acquired, and two deaths.

Saturday marks the sixth consecutive day they have been above 1000.

As of Friday there were three Omicron cases in Victoria.