The state has recorded another 471 COVID-19 cases, as regional Victoria goes back into stage three lockdown.
The new cases follow a record 725 new infections announced on Wednesday, which was Victoria's darkest day yet, with a staggering 15 deaths recorded in 24 hours.
Eight new deaths - four in aged care - have been confirmed by Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday, bringing the total to 170.
Two men in their 60s, three men and two women in their 80s and one woman in her 90s lost their battle with the deadly disease that has crippled the world since earlier this year.
Victoria now has 13,469 cases in total - 7449 of those are active - and a further 25,000 tests were conducted on Wednesday.
Ballarat woke to some new rules on Thursday morning, which will be enforced for at least six weeks.
Regional Victorians now only have four reasons to leave the home:
- to shop for food and essential goods or services
- to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
- to exercise or for outdoor recreation with your household, or one other person
- for work or study, if you can't do it from home
Read the full amount of rules HERE.
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With red meat production centres set to reduce operations to 66 per cent, Mr Andrews urged people not to panic-buy.
"You may not necessarily be able to get exactly the cut of meat that you want, but you will get what you need..." he said.
"It'll only make things harder if people who have the means to do it, go and buy enormous quantities of food. That'll just mean that other people, potentially, don't get the things that they need. That's why the supermarkets have put a number of buying limits in place."
Chicken producers will operate at 80 per cent.
"All of these measures are designed to drive down to the lowest numbers of workers we can practically get to without at the same time delivering a shortage of products," Mr Andrews said.
From Thursday, people in metropolitan Melbourne allowed to work on-site are required to show a permit or official work ID if they are by stopped by police to prove they are allowed to leave their homes.
Under the stage four rules, businesses caught issuing permits to workers who do not meet the requirements face fines of up to $99,123, while individuals can be fined up to $19,826.
But a permitted list worker list was only posted to the Victorian Department of Health website about 11pm on Wednesday, an hour before the measures came into effect.
Retailers across the city will largely be closed to customers and construction and manufacturing is also being scaled back to help slow the virus spread.
In a press conference late Thursday morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says tighter coronavirus restrictions in Victoria will lead to as many as 400,000 people losing their job or seeing their hours reduced to zero and a 10 per cent national jobless rate by year's end.
Mr Morrison said the revised Treasury forecast was for a reduction in real gross domestic product in the September quarter of up to $12 billion.
"This is a heavy blow - a heavy blow," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
The state's second wave prompted Mr Andrews on Sunday to declare a state of disaster and flag the stage four restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne, including an 8pm-5am curfew.
Currently the Ballarat municipality has 13 active cases but this will be updated later this afternoon. The city registered its first 'second wave' COVID-19 case on July 17 - before then it hadn't had a case since mid-May.
Moorabool, between Ballarat and Melbourne, also has 13 active cases, while Golden Plains (12), Hepburn (1) and Pyrenees (1) still have infected patients.
WHERE TO TAKE A COVID-19 TEST IN BALLARAT
Everyone who feels even the slightest cold or flu-like symptom must assume they have the virus until a test result proves otherwise. Anybody with symptoms or awaiting a result should self-isolate at home.
- 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.
- There is now a testing site at the Ballarat Senior Citizens Centre in the CBD. People are encouraged to book a test by calling 1800 054 172.
VICTORIA'S NIGHTMARE STRETCH
- Thursday, August 5: 471 cases, eight deaths as regional Victoria begins stage three lockdown again.
- Wednesday, August 5: 725 cases, 15 deaths. A record figure reached yet again.
- Tuesday, August 4: 439 cases, 11 deaths. New fines introduced for COVID-infected people who aren't home.
- Monday, August 3: 429 cases, 13 deaths. Premier details mass industry shutdowns in Melbourne.
- Sunday, August 2: 671 cases, seven deaths as harsh new statewide lockdowns are announced
- Saturday, August 1: 397 new cases, three deaths
- Friday, July 31: 627 new cases, eight deaths. Premier says one in four Covid cases not home when checked.
- Thursday July 30: 723 cases, 13 deaths. Just when it was looking promising, alarming new record set.
- Wednesday July 29: 295 new cases, nine deaths as new cases drop below 300 for first time in nine days
- Tuesday July 28: 380 new cases, six deaths as aged care outbreaks continue to climb
- Monday July 27: 532 new cases as daily cases hits 500 for first time, six deaths
- Sunday July 26: 459 new cases as double-digit death toll is recorded for first time with 10 deaths
- Saturday July 25: 357 new cases, five new deaths
- Friday July 24: 300 cases, six deaths, ADF role expanded to help with contact tracing.
- Thursday July 23 - 403 cases, five deaths, worst day for fatalities in any state, masks now mandatory
- Wednesday July 22 - 484 cases, two deaths
- Tuesday July 21 - 374 cases, three deaths
- Monday July 20 - 275 cases, one death
- Sunday July 19 - 363 cases, three deaths, notice that masks will become mandatory in lockdown areas
- Saturday July 18 - 217 cases, three deaths, final Melbourne public housing tower released from hard lockdown
- Friday July 17 - 428 cases, three deaths
- Thursday July 16 - 317 cases, two deaths
- Wednesday July 15 - 238 cases, one death
- Tuesday July 14 - 270 cases, two deaths
- Monday July 13 - 177 cases
- Sunday July 12 - 273 cases, one death
- Saturday July 11 - 216 cases, one death
- Friday July 10 - 288 cases, a national daily record at the time
- Thursday July 9 - 165 cases, eight of nine Melbourne public housing towers released from hard lockdown
- Wednesday July 8 - 134 cases, new stage-three restrictions announced for metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire
- Tuesday July 7 - 191 cases
- Monday July 6 - 127 cases, two deaths, NSW border closed
- Sunday July 5 - 74 cases
- Saturday July 4 - 108 cases, immediate hard lockdown of nine Melbourne public housing towers
- Friday July 3 - 66 cases
- Thursday July 2 - 77 cases
- Wednesday July 1 - 73 cases
MORE ON CORONAVIRUS
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