Victoria records 5,137 COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths and 395 hospitalizations

Victoria has registered 5,137 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths as test centers remain overwhelmed by demand.

This is the third day in a row that the state has set a new record for daily cases, after 3,767 cases were reported on Wednesday.

The state government has told Victorians it expects cases to follow a similar trajectory to New South Wales, which today reported more than 12,000 cases.

Hospital admissions usually lag behind cases by a week or more, but have remained stable so far, with a seven-day average of around 379 in the last three days.

There are 395 people in the hospital with active COVID-19 infections, of which 55 are in intensive care and 23 are in respirator.

The health department said another 45 people were in the intensive care unit, but their infections were no longer considered active.

The new cases were detected from 81,093 test results processed yesterday.

There are now 23,833 active cases of the virus in Victoria, and 696 people have died during the current outbreak.

Pathology company says ‘perfect storm’ set the stage for test delays

There is still high demand for test centers, where 10 facilities are forced to reject people shortly after opening this morning.

Some people have also reported delays of several days in receiving their test results.

The pathology lab 4Cyte said in a statement that it warned the Victorian and Queens governments three weeks ago that travel test requirements would create a problem for pathology companies handling tests.

The pathology company logged nearly 100,000 phone calls in one day last week as people tried to chase up delayed test results.

4Cyte said the travel requirements, along with the growing number of cases, had “resulted in the perfect storm of a massive amount of people being tested”.

“Our staff has been working non-stop for the past three weeks, including the holidays, in an effort to help people with their holiday plans and celebrations,” a spokesman for 4Cyte said.

Meanwhile, the Victorian opposition has criticized the Andrews government after its announcement yesterday that the state had secured 34 million quick test kits.

Former opposition leader Michael O’Brien said on Twitter that he advocated for greater use of the rapid tests months ago as a way to help the state reopen.

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Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has returned from leave today to attend a meeting of the National Cabinet convened by the Prime Minister to consider a significant change in the way close contacts are managed across the country.

3,775 doses of vaccine were administered at state-run sites yesterday, as well as several vaccinations at general practitioners’ clinics and elsewhere.

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