The inexorable spread of coronavirus into regional Victoria, despite a lockdown in Melbourne, has continued this week and raised the spectre of a return to stricter statewide restrictions.
Ballarat registered its first positive case in two months yesterday, with another active case in Golden Plains Shire bringing the number of active cases across the region to seven, with another two active cases currently in Moorabool.
Nevertheless, authorities insist the state's second wave isn't spiralling out of control.
Department of Health and Human Services figures show regional Victoria has not been immune from the second wave that began to grow momentum in late June.
Regional Victorian cases have grown by almost 70 percent in three weeks, and have added 48 new cases since lockdown was implemented on metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire last Wednesday.
Late Thursday, Ballarat Health Services confirmed one new active case of COVID-19 in Ballarat.
While neither DHHS or BHS would reveal the location of the case, it did say the active case has not needed to be admitted to hospital, and was being cared for at home.
Eleven other positive cases in the City of Ballarat recorded since the pandemic began have recovered.
Of Thursday's new cases, just 28 are linked to known outbreaks and 289 remain under investigation.
Premier Daniel Andrews said it is "way too early" to move to a new stage of restrictions.
"Let's get this stage three stay-at-home lockdown finished," Mr Andrews told reporters on Thursday.
"Let's see community transmission at a much lower rate, let's see case numbers at a much lower rate and then we can make decisions about what the next period looks like."
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the virus had an average incubation period of between five to six days, meaning case numbers should begin to plateau soon.
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"It's a big number. I expect it to turn around this week," he said, rejecting calls that the current surge in infections was out of control.
"An out-of-control outbreak is where, no matter what you're doing, you're seeing an exponential increase. We're seeing an increase but it's relatively slow."
Professor Sutton said there are about 160 outbreaks being monitored across the state, including 27 at aged care facilities.
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