There were 4,467 COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria this week, an increase of 13 per cent on the previous week. The average daily number of new cases this week was 638, up from 566 last week.
The seven-day rolling average of patients with COVID in Victorian hospitals is 162. There are currently 183 COVID patients in Victorian hospitals, an increase of 58 per cent on the previous week.
There are currently 10 COVID patients in intensive care. There are 4 cleared cases in ICU. There are 3 COVID patients on a ventilator. The seven-day rolling average of patients in intensive care in Victorian hospitals is 10. In the past three months, 3,085 COVID patients were hospitalised in Victoria.
Of Victorians aged 50 to 64 years, 80.3 per cent have had their third dose and 33.8 per cent have had their recommended fourth dose. Of those aged over 65, 91.1 per cent have had their third dose and 70.2 per cent have had their fourth dose. 70.8 per cent of people aged 16 and over have had three doses.
A total of 25 COVID-related deaths were reported to the department in the past week. An average of 4 deaths were reported each day in the past week. This represents a 54.3 per cent decrease when compared to the same period the previous month.
The total number of reported COVID-related deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began is 7,424.
COVID-19 epidemiological summary
Victoria continued to see an increase in COVID cases and hospitalisation this week, recording a 13 per cent increase in COVID cases and a 58 per cent increase in COVID hospitalisations.
There is a rapidly increasing variant share of the Omicron subvariants XBB.1.5 and XBB.1.9.1 in virologic surveillance of cases and in wastewater testing. Waning immunity from vaccination and past infection due to emerging variants is a key driver of transmission.
The Omicron recombinant strains XBB.1.5 and XBB.1.9.1 are now the most prevalent in wastewater detections, accounting for 42 per cent of detections. Both have shown rapid growth in the past six weeks.
XBF now represents 20 per cent of detections, followed by CH.1.1 (12 per cent) and other BA.2.75 sub-lineages (combined 4 per cent). A group of variants that include BQ.1/BQ.1.1 and others at low levels, and those which cannot be classified due to new mutations, make up 24 per cent of detections.
Steps to protect yourself and others
With increasing cases and hospitalisations, protective steps are crucial to help reduce transmission and the impact on the health system. Now is the perfect time to get your 2023 booster vaccine if you’re eligible.
Protecting yourself is the best way to protect yourself and the community. If you don’t get COVID, you can’t spread COVID.
These six steps can help you stay ahead of COVID:
- Wear a mask: a high-quality and well-fitted mask can protect you and others from the virus
- Get your 2023 booster: new bivalent vaccines targeting Omicron variants are available at your GP or local pharmacy. To find out if you’re eligible for your next booster, visit the Coronavirus websiteExternal Link
- Let fresh air in: open windows and doors when you can, it reduces the spread of the virus
- Get tested: if you have symptoms, take a rapid antigen test
- Stay at home: if you have COVID, you should stay at home for at least five days and until you have no symptoms
- Talk to your doctor: if you are at risk of falling very sick, you may be eligible for COVID medicines
All Victorians who have not had a COVID vaccination or confirmed infection in the past six months are now eligible for a booster. This is irrespective of how many prior doses a person has received. The national eligibility change follows advice from ATAGI.
For those not infected or vaccinated in the past six months, a 2023 booster is recommended for:
- All adults aged 65 years and over
- Adults 18-64 years who have medical comorbidities or disability with significant or complex health needs
For those not infected or vaccinated in the past six months, a 2023 booster should be considered for:
- Adults 18-64 with no risk factors for severe COVID
- Children and adolescents aged 5-17 who have medical comorbidities or disability with significant or complex health needs
Victorians are encouraged to book a free booster appointment through their local GP or pharmacy. You can find your nearest vaccination provider through the Vaccine Clinic FinderExternal Link.
RATs available through local councils
All Victorians are eligible to pick up two free packets of RATs through their local council.
The council RAT distribution program is currently operating across more than 400 local sites, such as libraries and council customer service centres. The program is now open to all Victorians with all eligibility requirements now removed.
Individuals can collect up to two packets for themselves plus up to two packets for each household member per visit while people with a disability or their carer can collect up to four packets of tests.
Testing, especially with any compatible COVID symptoms, is critical to help with early detection and to protect others. It also allows for appropriate care and timely treatment.