Victoria recorded 1254 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases in the state to 10,276.
The 10 local government areas to record the most new COVID-19 cases in Victoria were: Wyndham, Brimbank, Casey, Hume, Whittlesea, Melton, Bayside, Melbourne, Boroondara and Port Phillip.
Another five people died with COVID-19. They were aged in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and their deaths bring the total number of lives lost in Victoria since the pandemic began to 1306.
There were 310 people in hospital in Victoria with COVID-19, and 48 in intensive care. Thirty-one were on a ventilator.
Another 48 people in ICU were cleared of the virus.
The Chief Health Officer’s update said 63 per cent of those in hospital were not fully vaccinated, while 82 per cent of those in ICU were not fully vaccinated.
On Wednesday, 75,348 COVID-19 tests were processed across Victoria, while 19,515 people received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including 4718 at state-run hubs.
Mr Morrison said on Thursday morning that Victorians had “done it tougher than anyone over the past two years”. He said reaching 90 per cent of the population aged 16 and over fully vaccinated was an “amazing achievement”.
“Victorians have earned every freedom they now once again enjoy – let’s keep going, Australia!”
The daily vaccination data released by the federal Health Department on Thursday states that 90.01 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have been fully vaccinated.
The latest federal data, which feeds our vaccine tracker above, says the proportion of vaccinated Victorians aged 12 and over was 89.32 per cent on Wednesday.
However, the Premier’s announcement is based on state Health Department figures and the discrepancy arises from the way dose numbers are collated and each jurisdiction might use different estimates for the number of people aged 12 in the state.
Mr Andrews was also asked on Thursday whether he would heed the advice of experts who suggested it was time to abolish vaccine mandates – including the requirement to present certificates to enter venues.
“Certainly, it’s not going to be there forever, and we’ve been very clear about that, that it’s not something that’s going to be there, enduring,” the Premier said.
“But we do have [vaccine] boosters to get through, and we do have paediatric vaccines to get through.
“I don’t have health advice to get rid of it. So, on that basis, it stays, and when we can update you – and hopefully that’s soon – we will absolutely do that.”
In other coronavirus news, the fate of Victoria’s proposed new pandemic laws could become clear as early as Thursday afternoon, with Health Minister Martin Foley and Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes preparing to meet a group of crossbench MPs pushing for substantial changes to the proposed laws.
The government needs to find one extra vote to pass its legislation before December 15, the expiry date for the state of emergency powers that underpin the state’s pandemic response.
However, independent MP Rod Barton said the government should listen to the concerns of everyone on the crossbench.
“It will be a group thing,” he said. “We are not going to allow them to pick us off one by one. We’ll put our cards on the table and see what they have to say.”
The meeting is the first time that Mr Foley, who as Health Minister would be given sweeping coercive powers to respond to a pandemic under the proposed new regime, will be questioned directly by MPs frozen out of the government’s initial consultations on the bill.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s authorised workers have until Friday to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or show proof of a valid vaccination exemption, if they want to keep attending their workplaces.
The double-dosed deadline has already passed for the state’s residential aged care workers and construction workers.
With Craig Butt
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