Regional Victoria has tallied 20 new positive cases of COVID on Saturday with two of these being recorded in Ballarat.
Virus response commander Jeroen Weimar highlighted the work of regional businesses in acting quickly to minimse the impacts of the latest outbreak.
"Of the 20 cases in regional Victoria, we have six in Geelong, they are all linked and connected and understood," Mr Weimar said. "Five cases in Mitchell Shire, two in Ballarat, two in Shepparton, and a single case in Bendigo and a few other cases here and there. All of those cases with the exception Mitchell Shire are reasonably linked and understood from the primary close contacts."
Mr Weimar said despite the ballooning exposure site list, the majority of businesses were doing the right thing.
"I want to thank all regional businesses for the hard work they are doing to keep their work premises, for the staff and customers. We have actually seen a really good record of the last few weeks of particularly some very high risk workplaces, aged care facilities, some of our really difficult processing facilities, avoiding any COVID outbreaks."
There will be some slight changes to restrictions with the 80 single dose vaccination milestone expected this week with slight restriction changes set to change on Tuesday at midnight.
The milestone will also herald changes in regional Victoria, when the outdoor venue cap will increase from 20 to 30, with other changes to wearing masks at hair and beauty services.
"[80 per cent single dose] is a very important threshold, and of course I think that our double dose numbers will go beyond the 80 per cent mark which is very good," Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"They are modest things, it's not Freedom Day, it's not the end of the lockdown. That is getting closer every day though."
Lockdown will be lifted in Geelong and the Surf Coast from 11.59pm Sunday, but Mitchell Shire north of Melbourne will remain in lockdown.
Authorities said Mitchell Shire, which is north of Melbourne, would remain in lockdown because it was directly adjacent to metropolitan LGAs that have the highest rates of Covid anywhere in Australia.
In another near-record day Victoria has recorded 779 new cases of COVID 19 following it's biggest single day total ever on Saturday.
There were also two deaths.
This figure comes from 46,322 test results according to the DHHS.
Health officials say 34,280 vaccine doses were administered in the 24 hours to Saturday evening.
Ballarat had a clear Saturday with no new cases of COVID detected in the city but Ballarat recorded one new case on Friday.
However new exposure sites were added to the DHHS website for periods during the week late on Saturday.
This followed a record Saturday announcement with Victoria recording 847 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and another death from the virus.
All three regions were plunged into lockdown a week ago after positive coronavirus cases emerged.
Mr Foley said the outlook for Greater Geelong is "relatively positive", but Mitchell Shire - which recorded seven new cases on Saturday - is likely to remain locked down.
Where can I get tested: Click here to see where you can get a COVID test.
Of the 7611 active cases in the state, 321 are in hospital with 65 in intensive care and 45 of them on ventilators.
COVID-19 hospital patients have jumped by 55 per cent over the past week and 124 per cent across the past fortnight.
To boost hospital capacity, Health Minister Martin Foley said the state government was discussing multiple options.
"Elective surgery, particularly non-urgent election surgery, is clearly on the table to pause and to delay," he said.
"As is equally partnering with the private sector to make sure that other urgent work that would be done in the public sector can be done in the private sector."
COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar estimates about 45 per cent of Victorians catching the virus in homes are socially interacting with other households when they shouldn't be.
That pattern has health authorities spooked some would defy stay-at-home orders for Saturday night's AFL decider between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs' headquarters, Whitten Oval, will be transformed into a pop-up vaccination hub next weekend, with 2000 Pfizer jab bookings up for grabs online from Monday.
Meanwhile, police snuffed out a sixth day of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests in Melbourne, dispersing and arresting would-be demonstrators in St Kilda on Saturday.
Organisers on an encrypted messaging platform have made vague plans for more protests on Sunday.
Meanwhile yesterday police snuffed out a sixth day of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests in Melbourne, dispersing and arresting would-be demonstrators.
Hundreds of police lined St Kilda beach and arrested dozens of people on Saturday as protesters initially gathered at Luna Park.
There were 94 people arrested across the day, with most in St Kilda and in the Melbourne CBD.
"All those arrested will be issued with penalty notices for breaching the CHO directions," a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.
Organisers urged their followers to "show no fear" and said anyone who received a fine from police would be reimbursed.
But the planned sixth day in a row of disruption did not take off.
"No groups gaining traction that we know of," organisers posted on an encrypted messaging app at 1.45pm.
They signed off about 3pm with vague plans for more protests on Sunday.
Saturday's events came after police and riot squad members descended on Northcote on Friday afternoon, dispersing a crowd of up to 80 protesters and making 31 arrests.
A scuffle took place outside Northcote Plaza and several of those involved were led away by police at nearby All Nations Park.
A man who attended Wednesday's protest in central Melbourne that centred on the Shrine of Remembrance has since tested positive, and authorities fear it could become a super-spreading event.
Health Minister Martin Foley said he hoped Saturday's lacklustre turnout meant the protests had run out of steam.
He described them as "completely regrettable", "unrepresentative" and "ill- advised" activities that would achieve the direct opposite of their aims.
"Protesting does not work against this virus," Mr Foley told reporters.
"We've already seen a case turn positive from those protests and we presumably might well see more.
"Victoria Police are clearly on top of it. The best thing that those protesters can do is go home and organise to get vaccinated."
Opposition CBD recovery spokesman David Southwick said he was pleased there had been no repeat of the large-scale protests on the West Gate Freeway and shrine.
- with AAP
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