Health authorities are bracing for the state to fall into the same coronavirus crisis crippling NSW after staggering scenes of thousands protesting in Melbourne’s CBD.
Victoria has recorded 65 new coronavirus cases, including some cases initially reported yesterday.
Of the 65 local cases out of 44,147 tests, 55 are linked to current outbreaks and 10 are under investigation.
There was one new case acquired overseas, that is currently in hotel quarantine.
EXPLAINER: What the new lockdown means for regional Victoriahttps://twitter.com/VicGovDH/status/1429219078137290753
Sixteen of today's 65 local cases were announced yesterday, linked to the Shepparton area.
Health Minister Martin Foley said there was also a new case reported overnight, not in this morning's numbers, in the Mansfield area and linked to the Shepparton cases.
In addition to this, a person who underwent surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital later tested positive for COVID-19.
A further three cases linked to this case will be announced tomorrow, Victorian Health Department Deputy Secretary Kate Matson said.
Ms Matson said 259 of the active COVID-19 cases are aged under 30.
"Please isolate, minimise transmission... please don't catch up together until we get out of this," Ms Matson said to younger people.
There are 27 people in hospital, with 12 in intensive care units and five on ventilators.
READ MORE: Victoria records 65 new local cases, including 16 reported yesterday
A total of 26,149 vaccines were administered over the past day.
Mr Foley said the Victorian government is putting in place systems that will offer all public sector employees access to half a day's paid time off to each dose of the vaccine they receive.
In addition to this, he announced an aged care workforce vaccination blitz.
READ MORE: NSW records 830 new local coronavirus cases, three deaths
Mr Foley said 81 per cent of public residential aged care staff have received their first vaccine and the majority of those have received their second vaccine.
"We just need those remainders to come forward and get vaccinated," he said.
On Thursday, the government annouced a $807 million jointly funded package with the Commonwealth for metropolitan businesses in the state.
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula announced a further $146.6 million to support up to 20,000 additional regional businesses through the business cost assistance program and the licensed hospitality venue fund.
He said there will also be another round of support payments for alpine businesses.
Fears protest could lead to more cases
Health authorities fear the state is on course to fall into the same widespread crisis crippling NSW, after staggering scenes showed thousands protesting in Melbourne's CBD.
Even before the crowds converged yesterday, Melbourne's lockdown was broadened to include the entire state after cases were detected in regional areas.
An estimated 4000 people flooded the streets in the city centre yesterday, despite a heavy police presence and warnings of the potentially devastating spread of COVID-19 it may cause.
While the full impact of this anti-lockdown rally will not be known for about two weeks - a full infection cycle, it already has authorities, and the rest of the state, on edge.
More than $1 million in fines will be handed down, at least 218 people were arrested, and six police officers ended up in hospital as authorities lambasted abhorrent scenes.
"The behaviour seen by police was so hostile and aggressive that they were left with no choice but to use all tactics available to them," a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.
"For the first time during lockdown protests, police were forced to use a range of non-lethal options including pepper ball rounds and OC foam cannisters in an effort to disperse the crowd.
What they claimed was "a freedom demonstration" was "anything but", Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said. "It's just selfish."
READ MORE: Statewide lockdown for Victoria as 77 new cases recorded
The spokeswoman said "the majority of those who attended came with violence in mind".
The fear now facing health authorities is that cases will explode and contact tracers will be unable to control fresh outbreaks.
Mr Andrews had warned on Friday that if people ignored lockdown restrictions this weekend "well then next week it will be like Sydney", where cases have boomed to hundreds of new infections every day.
READ MORE: Sydney records largest ever single day spike in COVID-19 cases
COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said the hospitalisation numbers showed a disturbing trend.
There are 18 Victorians in hospital, and eight in intensive care, with two on ventilators.
"We note these numbers are starting to rise," Mr Weimar said.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-victoria-update-case-numbers-august-22-lockdown-protest-latest/761d675e-561a-444c-b317-06827140171e