News State Victoria News Another 1300 cases in Vic, as testing demand soars

Another 1300 cases in Vic, as testing demand soars

Demand for virus testing has soared in Victoria, as the holiday season draws closer. Photo: Getty
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Overwhelming testing demand has created long queues and forced several sites to shut, as Victoria reports 1302 COVID infections and no deaths.

Monday was the first day the state has not reported a COVID-related death since September 16.

There are 13,175 active cases in the community.

A total of 406 patients are in hospital, 81 of whom are actively infected with the virus in intensive care and 43 on ventilators.

The seven-day hospitalisation average has risen by seven to 387.

About 4800 people were vaccinated in state-run hubs on Sunday, while 71,491 tests were processed.

Strong testing demand in the lead-up to Christmas is putting the state’s testing system under pressure, with long lines on Monday morning.

At least 10 testing sites across Melbourne were temporarily shut at 9am after reaching capacity.

They include Alfred Health’s walk-through clinic in the CBD and Aughtie Walk in Albert Park, Montague Street in South Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital walk-through site in Fitzroy, La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus and Monash University at Clayton.

There was also a long queue  outside the Bourke Street walk-in site, with people facing waits of several hours to tested.

Acting Premier James Merlino said opening times at centres had been extended considering the number of people wanting to be tested as they prepared for leave or holiday travel during Christmas week.

“I know that there are particular sites where the wait is long but the average is 45 minutes to an hour or so,” Mr Merlino said on Sunday.

“I ask people to be patient. We’re expanding and extending it as much as we can.”

The state government has increased capacity by about 55 per cent since October, with about 260 sites in operation across Victoria.