Department of Health

Chief Health Officer Update - 4 November 2022

04/11/22

COVID-19 Weekly Data

There were 10,226 COVID-19 cases reported in Victoria this week, an increase of 20.1 per cent on the previous week. The average daily number of new cases this week was 1,461, up from 1,220 last week.

The number of active cases in Victoria is 9,607 up from 7,851 at the same time last week.

The seven-day rolling average of patients with COVID-19 in Victorian hospitals is 231, a 34.3 per cent increase when compared to the same time last week.

There are currently 256 COVID-19 patients in hospital in Victoria. 8 patients and 1 cleared care are in intensive care. There are 3 COVID-19 patients on a ventilator. The seven-day rolling average of patients in intensive care in Victorian hospitals is 7.

In the past three months, 4,039 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised in Victoria. 43.3 per cent of these patients had not received their third vaccine dose. 1,226 (30.4 per cent) were unvaccinated, 36 had received one dose, 486 had two doses, 1,068 had received three doses and 1,223 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 70.1 per cent of people aged 16 and over in Victoria are up to date and have had their third dose.

Of Victorians aged 50 to 64 years, 79.8 per cent have had their third dose and 28.3 per cent have had their recommended fourth dose. Of those aged over 65, 90.7 per cent have had their third dose and 66.4 per cent have had their fourth dose.  

A total of 24 COVID-19 related deaths were reported to the Department in the past week. An average of 3 deaths were reported each day in the past week. There has been a 47.1 per cent decrease in the number of COVID-19 related deaths in the past month when compared to the previous month.

In the past three months, there have been 944 COVID-19 related deaths in Victoria. Of those deaths, 48.7 per cent had not received their third COVID-19 vaccine dose. 376 (39.8 per cent) were unvaccinated, 5 had received one dose, 79 had two doses, 177 had received three doses and 307 had received four doses.

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began is 5,856. The number of COVID-related deaths recorded in Victoria so far this year is 4,247.

COVID-19 epidemiological summary

Reported COVID-19 cases in Victoria increased again this week, with most cases being reported in people aged over 65. The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital continued to rise over the past week. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has increased slightly from a low baseline.

Hospitalisations are now seen as a better indicator of disease activity than cases. It is important Victorians continue to test for COVID-19 if symptomatic and report positive RAT results to the Department.

The continued increase in hospitalisations and antiviral prescriptions (up 25 per cent in the past week), reflects a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in the community. This suggests a further wave of COVID-19 has started in Victoria.

Victoria’s wastewater surveillance and clinical genomic testing program continues to track the emerging Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and XBB, which are driving case and hospitalisation increases overseas due to their ability to escape immunity from past infection and waning immunity from past vaccination.

Multiple Omicron subvariants are present in Victoria and there is continued, rapid growth of BQ.1 and XBB in the past month, which now show a combined prevalence of approximately 13 per cent in clinical samples.

Continued growth at these rates would see these subvariants become the dominant subvariants in Victoria. BA.5 is still the dominant subvariant in Victoria but is being detected at declining levels.

Victorians are reminded that being up to date with vaccination, wearing masks when indoors outside your home or in crowded settings outdoors, improving ventilation, testing, isolating at home when sick and COVID-19 treatments are highly effective at reducing transmission, illness and deaths and also protect our health system.

Until you have a positive result, you can’t access important oral treatments including antivirals.

We now have strong evidence of the effectiveness of antivirals in Victoria’s last COVID-19 wave. For Victorians aged over 70 who were diagnosed with COVID-19, those who received antiviral treatment were 26 per cent less likely to be hospitalised and 55 per cent less likely to die, when compared to those who did not receive antiviral treatment.

Both available antivirals for treatment of early COVID-19 infection in the community (Paxlovid and Lagevrio) were shown to be effective at reducing the need for hospital treatment and reducing the risk of death. More information on COVID-19 antiviral treatments, including an eligibility checker can be found at COVID-19 medicines.

It is critical eligible Victorians remain up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. Now is the perfect time to increase your protection. To find your nearest clinic and keep safe for summer, use the Vaccine Clinic Finder.

Rains impacting PCR testing sites

Heavy rains continue to impact both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria affecting the opening hours of some COVID-19 testing sites.

Please contact your nearest testing site directly to confirm current opening times. Testing site locations and contact information can be found at Get a COVID-19 test.

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 people 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 04 November 2022

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