Premier Daniel Andrews is continuing to urge people with even the mildest of symptoms to be tested for COVID-19, as Victoria records another 217 cases of coronavirus overnight.
The number of COVID-19 cases announced today is almost half that of the previous day that hit a record high of 428 new cases reported state-wide.
There are now 5353 cases of COVID-19 in Victoria with 2608 of those cases remaining active.
Two more people have died in the past 24 hours, one woman in her 80s and one man in his 80s, bringing the total COVID-19 death toll in Victoria to 34.
Of the 217 new cases, 11 are connected with known outbreaks, one is in hotel quarantine and 205 are under investigation by the public health team.
217 is much better than a number above 400, but it is a number that would have shocked us all a month agoBrett Sutton, Chief Health Officer
During a midday press conference, Mr Andrews said 28,104 coronavirus tests were conducted on Friday.
"The testing rate is getting close to 20,000 tests per 100,000 which is an amazing effort," he said.
"We are deeply grateful to every Victorian who has come forward to get tested over this long journey.
"It is so so important to come forward even with the mildest of symptoms. That is how we can isolate you, that is how we can isolate your close contacts, that is how we can limit the spread of this virus."
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said a new testing site had opened in Ballarat on Saturday as part of the expansion to testing sites across Victoria.
The testing site is open by appointment at the Ballarat Senior Citizens Centre in Ballarat Central.
This comes after Ballarat recorded four new active cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including a staff member at the Bill Crawford Lodge aged care home.
There has also been a case recorded relating to an aged care home in Bendigo.
There are now more than 160 testing sites across Victoria, with 60 of those in regional communities.
"Regional Victorians should not become complacent and think this is a Melbourne issue," she said.
"There are new cases in regional communities today. It is important people in those communities do wear a mask and get tested even if they have the mildest symptoms."
Regional Victorians should not become complacent and think this is a Melbourne issue.Jenny Mikakos, Health Minister
Ms Mikakos said she continued to have discussions with the federal government and the aged care sector about risks and issues facing aged care facilities in Victoria.
"We continue to be concerned about the number of outbreaks across aged care facilities in Victoria," she said.
"Having facilities in regional communities as well is concerning and highlights the fact all Victorians need to be concerned about this virus."
Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said today's number of cases was a 'relief' after the record high number yesterday.
"217 is much better than a number above 400, but it is a number that would have shocked us all a month ago," he said.
"It is still a high number. There will be a number of people hidden in this number today that will require hospitalisation or intensive care in the days to come."
Twenty five patients are in intensive care, a decrease of six since yesterday and 18 remain on ventilators, a decrease of four since yesterday.
An addition 11 health care workers have tested positive to the virus, bringing the total number of infected health care workers to 405.
Mr Andrews was questioned on the possibility of a hard border between Melbourne and regional Victoria and changes to restrictions on movement.
People from the Melbourne and Mitchell Shire lockdown areas can currently travel into regional Victoria for essential work.
"If I got advice a harder boarder was necessary we would move to that setting but there is a big logistical challenge in that," Mr Andrews said.
"If we have any sense this strategy is not being effective as quickly as we like or as effective we like we will then look at other measures.
"Any changes to lockdown will be based on numbers as they present each day."
Mr Andrews said the strategy was to see a pattern where there is stability and then a decrease in the number of new cases each day.
The number of new cases in each local government area is expected to be released on Saturday afternoon.
- If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, make an appointment either online or by phone (4311 1571) to take a test at Lucas Community Hub. Tests are by appointment only.
For more information on COVID-19, visit: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.