There are 737 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria – with 31 active cases in ICU, including 7 on a ventilator, and an additional 8 cleared cases in ICU.
6,286,199 vaccine doses have been administered by Victoria’s state-commissioned services.
68.6 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have had 3 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 94.6 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have had 2 doses.
10,627 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded yesterday. This includes 8,504 who tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Test and 2,123 who returned a positive result on a PCR test.
Sadly, the Department was notified of 16 deaths yesterday of people aged in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The total number of deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began is 4,091.
There are 57,381 active cases in Victoria.
10,254 PCR tests were processed yesterday. The total number of PCR tests performed in Victoria since the pandemic began is 21,557,532.
Third Omicron wave with BA.4/BA.5 now dominant in Victoria
The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which are now dominant along the east coast of Australia, are expected to continue to cause increases in new cases, reinfections and hospital admissions – with a 53 per cent increase in the number of Victorians in hospital with COVID-19 over the last two weeks.
The rate of BA.4/BA.5 in clinical genomic surveillance and metropolitan and regional wastewater catchments continues to rise significantly. BA.4/BA.5 have become the dominant strains in clinical genomic samples, rising to 70 per cent in the two weeks prior to 8 July. The BA.4/BA.5 sub-lineages were first identified in Victorian wastewater catchments in April and have since risen from under 5 per cent in late May to an average of 66 per cent across all catchments by 4 July.
Case and hospitalisation trends are increasing in Victoria. This is in line with similar patterns globally and in other Australian jurisdictions, which have seen a significant rise in the number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 in recent weeks.
This is because the strains have a greater ability than BA.2 to evade immunity provided by vaccination and earlier COVID-19 infection. There is no evidence at this stage that the BA.4/BA.5 sub-lineages causes more severe disease, but the Department is closely monitoring the situation.
This 3rd wave of the Omicron variant is expected to peak in August. The impact of this can be reduced through immediate preventative measures and community actions.
COVID advice for Victorians to stay well in winter
The Victorian Government is providing Victorians with more advice on how they can protect themselves and their families this winter, with enhanced communications, community engagement and outreach, and support for business to keep customers and workers safe and their doors open.
A significant new investment will boost public health messaging and engagement efforts with the community to encourage third and fourth COVID-19 vaccination doses, flu vaccination, the benefits of wearing a mask and maximizing ventilation indoors. The Stay Well in Winter campaign will run across TV, radio, outdoor and digital channels.
Update to pandemic orders
Sensible changes to pandemic orders and public health recommendations will come into place at 11:59pm tonight, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure Victorians are aware of proactive steps they can take to look after themselves and each other.
In line with AHPPC advice, the period when someone is considered a recently confirmed case (and therefore exempt from testing and isolation/quarantine requirements) has been revised to four weeks (28 days from the end of their isolation date), down from 12 weeks. This reflects the emerging evidence that new variants of COVID-19 can evade prior immunity gained from infection.
Positive cases are still required to isolate for seven days from the day they took their test but an additional reason to leave home has been added – to provide transport for a household member to obtain food, if essential. The infected person will need to remain in the car and wear a face covering at all times.
There are no changes to current face mask requirements in the pandemic orders. Mask wearing in indoor and crowded settings is strongly recommended to protect yourself and our most vulnerable Victorians through winter. Wearing masks when indoors outside your home helps protect yourself, your family, and your community. It will also protect our health system and support our front-line health care workers, by reducing COVID-19 cases in the community and reducing pressure on GP practices and our hospitals. Every Victorian who wears a mask when out and about is helping our health care workers.
The Minister for Health is also requesting that employers consider working from home arrangements that are most appropriate for their workplace and employees based on individual requirements.
Winter dose COVID-19 vaccinations
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) last week expanded the eligibility criteria for winter doses to help reduce severe illness from COVID-19.
The winter COVID-19 dose is recommended for adults aged 50 to 64 and is now available for adults aged 30 to 49 years.
You can receive the winter dose three months after your third dose or after being infected with COVID-19, if the infection has occurred since your third dose.
Victoria’s state-run vaccination centres are now targeted to ensure support remains available for Victorians and communities most at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, such as people aged 65 and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 50 and over, people with compromised immunity and people with a disability.
Access to COVID-19 treatments
The Australian Government has expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 antiviral treatments antivirals on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to all people aged over 70 who test positive to COVID, people aged over 50 with two or more risk factors for severe disease, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged over 30 with two or more risk factors for severe disease.
These antiviral medications, if taken early (within five days of symptoms), reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, make the need for hospitalisation less likely, and reduce the risk of loss of life from COVID-19. See more information at .
See your GP or medical practitioner to determine if you are eligible and to develop a treatment plan for when you test positive. If you develop symptoms, get tested as soon as you can. If you test positive, see your GP, a nurse practitioner or GP respiratory clinic to access the appropriate medication.
Links and contacts
- your positive Rapid Antigen Test or find out more about
- Follow your COVID Checklist if you or you are a of someone with COVID-19
- Get your COVID-19 vaccine through GPs or community pharmacies through the
- are available for eligible people who have COVID-19
- Get information on and getting the right support for your symptoms
- How to improve and encourage air flow from outside
- See where and how you can get at state-run centres
- More information about
- Current for living and working in Victoria
- Financial is available if you have been impacted by COVID-19
- View Victoria’s
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can also call the Victorian Aboriginal COVID Information Line on . 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 12 July 2022