Victoria’s daily COVID-19 infections have hit another national record after the state reported 2297 new locally acquired cases and 11 deaths on Wednesday.
The health department confirmed the state now has 20,505 active cases.
Victoria conducted 82,762 tests on Wednesday, and 37,611 vaccinations in state- run hubs.
The new deaths take the toll from the current outbreak to 125.
It comes as Victoria considers throwing off the shackles of Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown before next weekend and possibly jettisoning a ban on home visits.
The state is on pace to reach its 70 per cent double vaccination target ahead of the indicative date of October 26, triggering the end of Melbourne’s long- running sixth lockdown.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a decision could be announced as early as this weekend based on vaccination projections and hospital case numbers.
Under the state’s COVID-19 roadmap, home visits were set to be banned until 80 per cent of its 16-plus population received both vaccine doses.
But Professor Sutton is open to tweaking home gathering restrictions at 70 per cent.
“We’ve always said, if we can do more, we will do more,” he told ABC Radio on Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re acutely aware of home gatherings leading to spikes and that was definitely a feature of (the AFL) grand final. They were people that didn’t normally come together.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy said the state government should use reaching the 70 per cent target “as a way to say thank you to people in Melbourne“, suggesting opening retail shops, gyms and indoor hospitality venues.
NSW RECORDS 406 NEW VIRUS CASES
Another 406 new cases of Covid have been recorded in NSW as the state continues to chase down another major vaccine milestone.
There were also six deaths.
NSW could reach the 80 per cent double dose target this weekend, meaning more freedoms would become available.
However, there are concerns about whether the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet will have to backtrack on a promise to allow Sydney residents to travel to the regions.
Allowing people from Sydney to travel to the bush was originally meant to happen when the state managed to fully vaccinate 70 per cent of its eligible population.
But then, the rule change was pushed forward to the 80 per cent mark instead.
Asked on Wednesday if city people could visit the regions next week – assuming the 80 per cent target is hit before then – Mr Perrottet did not make any promises.
“We did not expect to be in a position where our double vaccination rate has come forward the way it has and what a great thing that is,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Our commitment to the people of our state has been, if we can get vaccinated and reach those targets, we can open up freely.
“Having said that there has been concerns raised about regional NSW, if you look at those double vaccination rates.”
There will be an emergency meeting on Thursday.
STATE-BY-STATE CASE BREAKDOWN
VIC – 2297 new local cases, 11 deaths
NSW – 406 new local cases, six deaths
QLD – TBA
ACT – TBA
WA – TBA
SA – TBA
TAS – TBA
NT – TBA