Victoria has confirmed another 1073 COVID infections and six deaths, as the Premier pledges to try to keep the state’s border open amid the Omicron variant spreading elsewhere.
The health department confirmed on Monday the state was managing 16,503 active COVID-19 cases.
There are 310 patients in the state’s hospitals. They include 90 in intensive care and 19 requiring ventilation.
The seven-day hospitalisation average has risen by three to 297.
Virus testers processed 56,337 results on Sunday, while 1513 people were vaccinated in state-run hubs.
More than 91 per cent of Victorians over 12 are fully vaccinated.
Earlier, Premier Daniel Andrews said the state would not pursue an “Omicron zero” strategy, despite it being among Australian states yet to record a known case.
South Australia reimposed testing requirements for all arrivals from Victoria, NSW and the ACT on Saturday amid concerns about the new strain. SA Premier Steven Marshall hasn’t ruled out shutting the border altogether.
Mr Andrews said he and his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrottet texted about the new variant and were aligned on working to keep borders open ahead of Christmas.
“I’ve never been one to criticise other states making what they believe to be the right choice, but we will not be pursuing an ‘Omicron zero’ here,” Mr Andrews said on Sunday.
“We don’t think that makes any sense. It may already be here. The good news so far is whilst it’s more infectious, the evidence suggests it is milder.”
Meanwhile, “freedom” protesters descended on the streets of Melbourne and Ballarat at the weekend, disrupting businesses and traffic.