Chief Health Officer Update 23 September

There were 10,360 COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria this week, down 15 per cent on the previous week. The average daily number of new cases this week is 1,480.

The number of active cases in Victoria is 8,510 and continues to decline from a peak of 71,428 recorded on 23 July.

The 7-day rolling average of patients with COVID-19 in Victorian hospitals is 169, down 23.5 per cent when compared to the same time last week. The daily number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation in the current wave peaked at 906 on 20 July.

There are currently 6 COVID-19 patients and 2 cleared cases in intensive care. There are 2 COVID-19 patients on a ventilator. The 7-day rolling average of patients in intensive care in Victorian hospitals is 8.

In the past three months, 6,585 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised in Victoria. Almost half (44.2 per cent) had not received their third vaccine dose. 1,966 (29.9 per cent) were unvaccinated, 60 had received one dose, 882 had two doses, 2,065 had received three doses and 1,612 had received four doses.

94.8 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Victoria have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 69.9 per cent of people aged 16 and over in Victoria have had their third dose.

Of Victorians aged 50 to 64 years, 79.6 per cent have had their third dose and 26.7 per cent have had their fourth dose. Of those aged over 65, 90.6 per cent have had their third dose and 65.3 per cent have had their fourth dose.

A total of 80 COVID-19 related deaths were reported to the Department in the past week. An average of 11 deaths were reported each day in the past week. The average daily number of COVID-19 related deaths in Victoria has dropped by 50.5 per cent in the past month.

In the past three months, there have been 1,541 COVID-19 related deaths in Victoria. Of those deaths, 53 per cent had not received their third COVID-19 vaccine dose. 679 (44.1 per cent) were unvaccinated, 10 had received one dose, 129 had two doses, 323 had received three doses and 400 had received four doses.

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began is 5,572. The number of COVID-related deaths recorded in Victoria so far this year is 3,961.

COVID-19 epidemiological summary

COVID-19 epidemiological summary The number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths in Victoria continues to fall from the peak of the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 wave seen in July and August.

Eligible people who have had less than three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and people aged over 50 years continue to be over-represented in hospitalisations and deaths.

The Omicron BA.4/BA.5 sub-variants of COVID-19 continue to be the dominant strains in Victoria, as detected through wastewater surveillance and genomic testing. The Omicron BA.4.6 and BA.2.75 sub-variants are being detected at low levels and are not significantly outcompeting the dominance of the BA.4/BA.5 strains.

It is important that Victorians remain up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, get tested and stay home if you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, wear a good quality face mask if you are indoors in a public space or outside in a crowded space where you can’t physically distance and maintain good ventilation indoors.

Testing and treatment with COVID-19 medicines have been an important intervention that has likely contributed to our reduced number of hospitalisations and deaths. COVID-19 medicines are available if you test positive and people are encouraged to speak to their doctor about these treatments.

The Department of Health has developed an online tool to help people determine if they may be eligible for COVID-19 medicines. This tool does not replace the advice of a GP, it is a guide only.

Changes to mask settings on public transport

From 11.59pm last night, Thursday 22 September, masks are no longer mandatory to wear on public transport or in taxis, rideshare services or tourism vehicles.

Masks continue to be strongly recommended in indoor settings, in situations where people can’t physically distance, for people who have COVID symptoms and for anyone who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to COVID-19.

Masks are still required in some circumstances, such as visiting a hospital, care facility or any other indoor space that is publicly accessible in a healthcare setting, including allied health providers.

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