In the Australian state of Victoria, 1143 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported, with three deaths.
The cases were identified from 62,883 test results, bringing the total number of active cases in the state to 10,944.
The figure is a smaller increase than Thursday’s record leap of 1438 new cases.
The government has not ruled out adjusting the state’s roadmap should the trend of high case numbers continue.
Childcare centres across Melbourne were identified as tier 1 exposure sites, with new exposure sites also appearing regionally in Ararat, Geelong and Warrnambool.
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service’s Fitzroy site, which has been delivering vaccinations, has also been closed for the day after an exposure was identified for Wednesday afternoon.
Supermarket chains are calling for adjustments to Victoria’s strict Covid-19 exposure protocols, warning large numbers of staff being sent into quarantine could force stores across the state to close.
Announcement on construction reopening anticipated
Premier Daniel Andrews said a high number of illegal household gatherings over the AFL grand final weekend had resulted in the dramatic jump in case numbers announced on Thursday.
“Actual interviews tell us that many hundreds of people, perhaps thousands of people … have made choices that they’re spending time not in their own home, but in someone else’s home. That’s how this virus spreads,” he said.
Health authorities have asked anyone who attended a gathering last weekend to immediately get tested.
The state has this week hit one of its milestone vaccination targets, with 80 percent of the 16+ population having received at least one vaccine dose.
The government has announced it will halve the interval for Pfizer vaccinations at state-run hubs from six to three weeks starting from Monday, following supply guarantees from the Commonwealth.
Andrews has indicated there will be an announcement today on reopening the construction industry, nearly two weeks on from the suspension of the sector in Melbourne and other areas in lockdown.
He said the industry would resume at 25 percent capacity once the shutdown was lifted.