Department of Health

Chief Health Officer Update - 2 December 2022

02/12/22

COVID 19 Weekly Data

There were 26,971 COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria this week, an increase of 21.4 per cent on the previous week. The average daily number of new cases this week was 3,853, up from 3,183 last week.

The seven-day rolling average of patients with COVID in Victorian hospitals is 550, a 27.9 per cent increase when compared to the same time last week. There are currently 625 COVID patients in Victorian hospitals, with 28 COVID patients in intensive care including 4 cleared cases. There are 8 COVID patients on a ventilator. The seven-day rolling average of patients in intensive care in Victorian hospitals is 21.

In the past three months, 3,468 COVID patients were hospitalised in Victoria. 40.8 per cent of those patients had not received their third vaccine dose. 1,018 (29.4 per cent) were unvaccinated, 30 had received one dose, 367 had two doses, 786 had received three doses and 1,267 had received four doses. 

Of Victorians aged 50 to 64 years, 79.9 per cent have had their third dose and 30.5 per cent have had their recommended fourth dose. Of those aged over 65, 90.8 per cent have had their third dose and 67.5 per cent have had their fourth dose. 70.4 per cent of people aged 16 and over in Victoria have had three doses of COVID vaccine.

A total of 54 COVID-related deaths were reported to the Department in the past week. An average of 8 deaths were reported each day in the past week. There has been a 32.1 per cent increase in the number of daily COVID-related deaths in the past month when compared to the previous month.

In the past three months, there have been 596 COVID-related deaths in Victoria. Of those deaths, 39.3 per cent were unvaccinated and 45.8 per cent had not received their third COVID vaccine dose.

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began is 6,052. The number of COVID-related deaths recorded in Victoria so far this year is 4,444.

COVID-19 epidemiological summary

COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations continued to increase this week. Cases have been rising steadily since late October and the total number of COVID-19 patients in hospital has increased three-fold since 19 October. 

While the number of people in hospital (625) is the highest it has been since 14 August during the last wave, it is still well short of the 20 July peak of 906.

The number of COVID-related deaths has begun increasing, which was expected following the increasing rate of cases and hospitalisations over recent weeks.

The increase in cases is being driven by a mixture of new Omicron subvariants, which are more immune evasive and are responding to waning immunity from past infection and past vaccination. 

Health System Response Framework update

Given the increasing demand on the Victorian public health system, the Health System Response Framework (HSR) will be escalated to Stage 3, effective Saturday 3 December 2022. 

This is a reflection of both high numbers of people with COVID in hospital, particularly across our metropolitan health services, as well as ongoing furlough challenges at all sites leading into the holiday period.

This will enable the enhanced application of levers to best utilise resources, facilitate load balancing and generate capacity in order to relieve system pressures.

The Health System Response was developed to provide the Victorian acute health system a strategy to maintain high-quality COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care, including elective activity. 

Steps to protect yourself and others

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 this spring:

  1. Wear a mask: a high-quality and well-fitted mask can protect you from the virus
  2. Get your booster dose: new bivalent vaccines targeting Omicron variants are available at your GP or local pharmacy
  3. Let fresh air in: open windows and doors when you can, it reduces the spread of the virus
  4. Get tested: if you have symptoms, take a rapid antigen test
  5. Stay at home: if you have COVID, you should stay at home for at least 5 days and until you have no symptoms
  6. Talk to your doctor: if you are at risk of falling very sick, you may be eligible for COVID medicines.

To access the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Victoria, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria website or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can also call the Victorian Aboriginal COVID Information Line on 1800 312 911. Callers will speak with Aboriginal staff who can answer questions about COVID-19 and direct them to relevant support services. The information line is open from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.

Reviewed 02 December 2022

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