Victoria record 779 new COVID-19 cases

IN another near record day Victoria has recorded 779 new cases of COVID-19 following it's biggest single day total ever on Saturday.

There were also two deaths.

This figure comes from 46, 322 test results according to the DHHS.

Health officials say 34,280 vaccine doses were administered in the 24 hours to Saturday evening.

This followed a record Saturday announcement with Victoria recording 847 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and another death from the virus.

Ballarat was spared lockdown on Thursday and Geelong will learn its lockdown fate, as rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations threaten to suspend elective surgeries.

Health Minister Martin Foley has confirmed restrictions will ease on the state's Surf Coast from midnight on Sunday, while Greater Geelong and Mitchell Shire remain under review.

All three regions were plunged into lockdown a week ago after positive coronavirus cases emerged.

Mr Foley said the outlook for Greater Geelong is "relatively positive", but Mitchell Shire - which recorded seven new cases on Saturday - is likely to remain locked down.

Of the 7611 active cases in the state, 321 are in hospital with 65 in intensive care and 45 of them on ventilators.

COVID-19 hospital patients have jumped by 55 per cent over the past week and 124 per cent across the past fortnight.

To boost hospital capacity, Health Minister Martin Foley said the state government was discussing multiple options.

"Elective surgery, particularly non-urgent election surgery, is clearly on the table to pause and to delay," he said.

"As is equally partnering with the private sector to make sure that other urgent work that would be done in the public sector can be done in the private sector."

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar estimates about 45 per cent of Victorians catching the virus in homes are socially interacting with other households when they shouldn't be.

That pattern has health authorities spooked some would defy stay-at-home orders for Saturday night's AFL decider between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs' headquarters, Whitten Oval, will be transformed into a pop-up vaccination hub next weekend, with 2000 Pfizer jab bookings up for grabs online from Monday.

Meanwhile, police snuffed out a sixth day of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests in Melbourne, dispersing and arresting would-be demonstrators in St Kilda on Saturday.

Organisers on an encrypted messaging platform have made vague plans for more protests on Sunday.

Meanwhile yesterday police snuffed out a sixth day of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests in Melbourne, dispersing and arresting would-be demonstrators.

Hundreds of police lined St Kilda beach and arrested dozens of people on Saturday as protesters initially gathered at Luna Park.

There were 94 people arrested across the day, with most in St Kilda and in the Melbourne CBD.

"All those arrested will be issued with penalty notices for breaching the CHO directions," a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

Organisers urged their followers to "show no fear" and said anyone who received a fine from police would be reimbursed.

But the planned sixth day in a row of disruption did not take off.

"No groups gaining traction that we know of," organisers posted on an encrypted messaging app at 1.45pm.

They signed off about 3pm with vague plans for more protests on Sunday.

Saturday's events came after police and riot squad members descended on Northcote on Friday afternoon, dispersing a crowd of up to 80 protesters and making 31 arrests.

A scuffle took place outside Northcote Plaza and several of those involved were led away by police at nearby All Nations Park.

A man who attended Wednesday's protest in central Melbourne that centred on the Shrine of Remembrance has since tested positive, and authorities fear it could become a super-spreading event.

Health Minister Martin Foley said he hoped Saturday's lacklustre turnout meant the protests had run out of steam.

He described them as "completely regrettable", "unrepresentative" and "ill- advised" activities that would achieve the direct opposite of their aims.

"Protesting does not work against this virus," Mr Foley told reporters.

"We've already seen a case turn positive from those protests and we presumably might well see more.

"Victoria Police are clearly on top of it. The best thing that those protesters can do is go home and organise to get vaccinated."

Opposition CBD recovery spokesman David Southwick said he was pleased there had been no repeat of the large-scale protests on the West Gate Freeway and shrine.

- with AAP

This story Victoria records 779 new cases as other regional cities await their fate first appeared on The Courier.