There are 465 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria – with 13 active cases in ICU, including 4 on a ventilator, and an additional 8 cleared cases in ICU.
6,279,342 vaccine doses have been administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services, with 779 doses administered yesterday at state-run centres.
68.3 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 94.6 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have had two doses.
9,926 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded yesterday. This includes 6,787 who tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Test and 3,139 who returned a positive result on a PCR test.
Sadly, the Department was notified of 17 deaths yesterday of people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s. This brings the total number of deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began to 3,922.
There are 46,113 active cases in Victoria.
7,498 PCR tests were processed yesterday. The total number of PCR tests performed in Victoria since the pandemic began is 21,418,319.
Omicron BA.4/BA.5 likely to become dominant strain in Victoria
The prevalence of Omicron strains BA.4/BA.5 in Victorian metropolitan and regional wastewater catchments continues to rise significantly, which is indicating increasing transmission of this sub-lineage in the community.
The BA.4/BA.5 sub-lineages were first identified in catchments in April and have since risen from under 5 per cent in late May to an average of approximately 40 per cent across all wastewater catchments by 23 June.
BA.4/BA.5 are expected to overtake the BA.2 strain to become the dominant strain in Victoria.
This is in line with similar patterns in NSW and Queensland where both states have seen a significant rise in the number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 during June.
The Department of Health anticipates the prevalence of BA.4/BA.5 in Victoria is likely to result in an increase in cases – including reinfections – and hospital admissions and deaths. This is because the strain has a greater ability than BA.2 to evade immunity provided by vaccination and earlier COVID-19 infection.
There is no evidence at this stage that the BA.4/BA.5 sub-lineages causes more severe disease, but the Department is closely monitoring the situation.
The Department strongly encourages Victorians to remain up to date with their vaccines, and to stay home if unwell and test for COVID-19.
Masks are strongly recommended in shared indoor settings; if you can’t physically distance; or you are with those more vulnerable to COVID-19. Improve ventilation by opening doors and windows, using fans or purifiers, and gathering outside where possible.
Face masks are still required for everyone aged 8 and above in some locations, including on public transport, rideshares and taxis, and in sensitive settings such as hospitals and care facilities. They are also required by household contacts in quarantine who meet the criteria for leaving home.
If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, report your result to ensure you have access to the right level of care if you need it. Report your positive RAT.
COVID-19 medicines are available for eligible Victorians at increased risk of severe illness if they are infected with COVID-19. If you are eligible for early treatment and you develop symptoms, get tested as soon as you can and consult your GP or GP respiratory clinic so you can get access to medicines, which are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
These antiviral medications reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, make the need for hospitalisation less likely, and reduce the risk of loss of life from COVID-19. See more information at COVID-19 Medicines.
COVID-19 media release
From this weekend, the COVID-19 Chief Health Officer Update media release will not be routinely issued on Saturday and Sunday.
We will continue to issue the Department of Health tweet on weekends, which includes the daily update of case numbers and other data, and the Department’s COVID-19 website data pages will also continue to be updated.
The Chief Health Officer COVID-19 Update media release will continue to be issued on weekdays.
Data resources available online
Comprehensive Victorian COVID-19 data, including graphs showing case numbers, location and age group remains available online.