Vic 'on track' to suppress virus outbreak

Victoria has recorded 22 new local coronavirus cases on the sixth day of its extended lockdown.
Victoria has recorded 22 new local coronavirus cases on the sixth day of its extended lockdown.

Victoria is "on track" to suppress its latest coronavirus outbreak despite a spike in new cases.

The state recorded 22 new locally-acquired infections on Wednesday morning, all of which are linked to known outbreaks.

Health Minister Martin Foley says 16 of the cases were isolating while infectious, and the remaining six pose a low risk to the community as they visited few exposure sites.

"That should give us confidence that this is a process that is working and it is working because millions of Victorians are backing it in and doing the right thing," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the spike in new cases was concerning, but the fact the majority of cases were self-isolating showed the state was curbing community transmission of the Delta variant.

"I'm confident that this is going in the right direction and we're on track in terms of getting control of this," he said.

Professor Sutton expects most new cases in the coming days will be household contacts of confirmed cases and therefore already in isolation.

"We've peaked in terms of numbers out in the community while infectious, I don't know that we've peaked in terms of new cases that are emerging (in self-isolation)," he said.

He also warned the number of people in intensive care could grow.

"It is both a more infectious variant, the estimates are that it's a more severe variant as well," Prof Sutton said.

There are currently five people in hospital with COVID-19, including a man from Barwon Heads in intensive care.

The total number of active cases in the outbreak stands at 107, while there are 18,000 primary close contacts self-isolating across the state and more than 360 exposure sites.

Anyone who has visited an exposure site or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested, including people on Phillip Island, where traces of the virus showed up in sewage tests overnight.

Tuesday's case involving a woman in her 20s from Roxburgh Park has officially been linked to a City of Hume family, who tested positive after returning from NSW earlier this month.

A record 59,355 tests were processed on Tuesday, while 18,099 Victorians received a vaccine dose.

The state's lockdown has been extended until at least 11.59pm on July 27, while permits to enter Victoria from red zones are suspended for two weeks.

To help soften the blow of the extension, the government is offering an additional $282.5 million in grants to 90,000 businesses.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund grants will increase from $3000 to $7200, while the Business Costs Assistance Program increases from $2000 to $4800.

Businesses and sole traders that received support during the fourth lockdown last month will automatically receive the funds to their chosen bank account.

Those who did apply, or who had been ineligible and have since become eligible, will be able to apply for a grant online.

Businesses in Victoria's alpine region, the public events industry and community sporting clubs are also eligible for additional funds.

The federal and state governments are jointly funding income support for Victorians who have lost work or income due to the lockdown, the state's fifth.

Meanwhile, more removalists from NSW have been intercepted near Mildura without required permits. They have been fined and sent back to NSW.

A full list of Victorian exposure sites can be found at

Australian Associated Press