Victoria has recorded 29 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, all of them linked to current outbreaks but not in quarantine while infectious.
The tally, from 43,618 test results, follows six cases reported on Friday and with the state now managing 95 active cases. Victorian facilities administered 22,600 vaccine doses in the 24 hours to Friday evening.
Despite the growth of the current outbreak, Premier Daniel Andrews says it’s too soon to tell whether the state’s week-long lockdown can be lifted on Thursday.
He said the escalation in cases meant getting tested was now “absolutely critical”.
“It is non-negotiable, cannot wait one hour, cannot wait one afternoon,” he told reporters.
“It is very significant to see this many cases, although they are rolling.
“They are linked to outbreaks and we don’t know where those two outbreaks started so they are mystery cases that sit behind this.
“The cases we have found since are linked to others that we knew. They have been out in the community and that is every reason, there is a certainty that there are more cases out there.”
Mr Andrews said he could not be prouder of Victoria and the sacrifices that had been made during the course of five previous lockdowns.
“We have it in us to continue to do this work, as tough and hard and gruelling as it is,” he said.
“As much as we would love this to be over, none of us have the luxury of pretending it is.”
While not providing details of the arrangement, Mr Andrews said the federal government had agreed to soon supply his state with an additional 150,000 Pfizer vaccine doses.
More than 10,000 close contacts of positive cases in the state are currently isolating with 82 venues listed as exposure sites.
They include two tier one sites listed on Friday – a medical centre and a pathology collection centre, both in Caroline Springs.
Several schools were also added as tier two sites, including Heathdale Christian College in Werribee and Warringa Park School in Hoppers Crossing, after positive cases were found in students.
Al-Taqwa College, the centre of an outbreak during Victoria’s second wave, has also reported a case in a staffer.
The statewide seven-day lockdown began at 8pm on Thursday, with the same stay-home rules that applied during last month’s lockdown reimposed.
COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said 433 primary close contacts had been cleared on Friday.