Deputy Chief Health Officer Professor Ben Cowie has warned case numbers are expected to increase over the coming days with 1,245 new households impacted this week.
Nearly half of the latest infections from Wednesday were aged under 30-years-old. Two thirds were under the age of 40.
“While we’ve seep increases across the board, we’ve certainly seen disproportionate increases in some parts of regional Victoria and in particular we’ve seen increased growth in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne and believe that we do have undetected transmission occurring in the community, which is just coming to the surface,” he told the press conference after Victoria reported a record 2,297 new cases and 11 deaths.
He stressed residents to come forward to get vaccinated as the state did not have the level of protection it needed yet.
Close to 88 per cent of the population have received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine with 62 per cent fully vaccinated.
“We had hoped to see a plateau in numbers but today’s jumper still lands in the projected range of the Burnet (Institute) modelling,” Deputy Premier James Merlino said.
The latest figures are on par with Burnet Institute modelling that predicted cases to hover between 1,400 – 2,900 cases in late October.
Premier Daniel Andrews said despite the new national record, case numbers become “less relevant” due to the the state’s increased vaccination rates.
“We have never had a situation where there was rampant community transmission with everyday and increasingly vaccinated community. That is unique in any of our lifetimes,” he said at a brief door stop press conference.
“So, on that basis, case numbers do become less relevant, except the number of people getting it who are unvaccinated will contribute and will be directly linked to the number of people who finish up in hospital.”
Victoria has recorded a significant increase with 2,297 new local COVID-19 cases along with 11 deaths in the 24 hours to midnight, the Department of Health announced on Thursday.
The results came from a record testing rate of 82,762 swabs and takes the number of active cases in the state to 20,505.
There are currently 706 Victorians in hospital with 147 in intensive care and 100 of those on a ventilator.
Mr Merlino passed on his sympathies to the family and friends of a man in his 50s from Moonee Valley, a man in his 60s from Moreland, a man in his 70s and a man in his 60s from Melton, a man in his 70s, a man in his 60s and a man in his 60s from Hume, a man in his 70s from Greater Shepparton, a woman in her 80s, a woman in her 70s from Knox and a man in his 80s from Brimbank.
The Deputy Premier described the jump in cases as “significant”.  The previous record was set on Saturday where 1,965 cases were reported.
Cases in the state started to trend down following the weekend and the sudden spike would come as a surprise to residents.
Primary close contact VCE students to sit exams
Students who have been deemed primary close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases will be allowed to sit VCE exams.
High schoolers will undergo their tests in a separate room to students but could be doing exams in the same room as other primary close contact classmates.
Students will be socially distanced with teachers, wearing face shields and healthcare worker-level PPE, to supervise the teenagers.
Rooms will be “safely ventilated” and cleaned between each exam.
Primary close contact students will need to be tested every 48 hours in the first week and after their exposure on day 13.
“The regular testing that I’ve just mentioned is the key to ensuring that students and the broader community are kept safe and making sure we pick up any further spread nice and early,” Mr Merlino said.
“The process for students who test positive for coronavirus will not be changing, so they won’t be able to attend school or sit their VCE exam and they’ll receive a derived examination score for any exam that they miss and obviously there’s the consideration of educational disadvantage process to make sure that every single students, their marks and the impact of COVID is reflected in their final results.”

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