News State Victoria News Deaths spike in Vic, as infections near 38,000
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Deaths spike in Vic, as infections near 38,000

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Victoria's ambulance system has again been strained, with warnings for other public services.
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Victoria has confirmed another 37,994 COVID cases and 13 deaths, as the virus continues to hit public services including ambulances.

The state’s infections on Tuesday were made up of 18,503 from rapid antigen tests and 19,491 from PCR tests, the health department said.

There are 861 patients in hospital, 43 more than the previous day – and a record high for Victoria at any time. They include 117 patients in intensive care and 27 on ventilation.

Victoria’s previous hospitalisation peak was 851 cases on October 18, at the height of its Delta outbreak.

The state is managing 171,369 active virus cases.

The latest figures come as paramedics warned there would be delays in ambulances reaching people for the second time in a week.

Ambulance Victoria said it was experiencing “extremely high demand for ambulances” in metropolitan Melbourne.

“It is likely there will be a delay in an ambulance reaching you,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our priority is to provide care to Victorians who require life-saving assistance.”

AV asked Victorians to use triple-zero only for emergencies and to contact Nurse On Call or visit their GP if their illness was not an emergency.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transport said there might be disruptions to services during “the next few weeks” with a large number of staff isolating.

“Due to driver availability, there may be changes to some public transport services,” the department said.

“Passengers are advised to allow extra travel time. The Department of Transport continues to work closely with public transport operators to minimise the impact on passengers and to ensure the health and welfare of our staff and passengers.”

The number of people using public transport across Victoria is at 29 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

On Monday, the state government announced new pandemic orders would kick in at 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Under the changes, the state will mandate vaccine boosters for critical workers, indoor dance floors will close and food workers will be exempt from isolation rules.

Health Minister Martin Foley said the orders were needed to counter the “significant spike” in infections and rise in hospitalisations.

-with AAP