Thousands to attend Melbourne Cup as Victoria posts 1,890 COVID-19

Premier Daniel Andrews said the events send an important signal about changes over the coming months.

“We’re going to normalise this virus, we are going to move through this difficult gateway, we’re going to open up and we’re going to be back doing what we do best,” he told reporters on Sunday.

The events are part of a large-scale trial of how the state’s economy will run once it hits 80 per cent vaccination thresholds.

On Sunday Victoria added 1,890 COVID-19 infections to its caseload and an additional five deaths over the past 24 hours.

Expectations were that the state would become the first to exceeded 2,000 reported cases in a single day following a record 1,965 infections on Saturday along with five fatalities.

Victoria is managing more than 18,340 active cases.

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Almost 40,000 vaccines were administered across the state on Saturday, while 74,105 tests were conducted.

Meanwhile, tracing efforts across the state have been scaled back to focus on positive cases and primary contacts.

About 16,000 secondary contacts are being allowed to leave isolation this weekend as authorities change their processes to manage the escalating case numbers.

Primary contacts are being asked to isolate away from the rest of their household and secondary contacts are being encouraged to get tested if they show symptoms.

Vaccination rates continue to rise in Victoria. As of Friday evening, 85 per cent of over 16s had one dose and 57 per cent were fully vaccinated.

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Residents of Mildura are again in lockdown to contain growing cases, with dozens of active infections in the area.

Health officials in three states are on alert after a Victorian flight attendant worked on return Virgin flights from Melbourne to Adelaide, Sydney and Newcastle while infectious from 4 to 6 October.

Asked on Saturday whether the state would reach 3,000 cases a day by the end of October, Health Department deputy secretary Kate Matson told reporters: “At this point in time, we are on track in terms of hospitalisations and case numbers.”

She said the Burnet Institute was working on fresh modelling, given the high cases numbers, which would be released later this week.

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