The number of active cases in Ballarat has hit 60 with four new cases added to the official count on Tuesday.
But the tally for Tuesday's count follows only a single case on Monday and a generally downward trend form last week's high when ten new cases were added on multiple days.
These were some of the highest figures for the pandemic in Ballarat with a further 11 people on the weekend when Victoria broke the national record for new cases with 1965 infections.
Postcode case data has not yet been released.
And Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says the slight drop in statewide COVID figures has given him some hope Victoria might have seen the highest daily numbers of the current outbreak.
The state confirmed 1466 new cases on Tuesday morning, almost 500 less than the record reached on Saturday.
Ballarat's daily tally has not ye been released.
"I'm cautiously optimistic about that," Professor Sutton said.
"I think it's terrific to have seen a consistent drop over a few days.
"That's not to say that we shouldn't keep our guard up or that we might not see an uptick in cases but with higher and higher levels of vaccination coverage each and every day in Victoria, across Australia, it does give me hope that we are continuing to suppress the transmission."
Professor Sutton also encouraged regional Victorians to continue to get vaccinated, even if they had not had significant exposure to the virus.
More than 92% of the eligible Ballarat population have now received their first COVID vaccination in Ballarat, while the fully vaccinated rate has increased to 63.5%.
He said once the lockdown restrictions were lifted in the coming weeks, there would undoubtedly be more virus spreading to the regions.
"So regional Victorians, don't put off vaccination because you haven't seen COVID in that community," he said.
"You need the first dose, the second dose following three to four weeks later and another week or so to get the immunity to kick in with that second dose. So please, if you've had no dose at all now, please make sure you get that first dose because COVID will come to all regions of Victoria in time as we open up."
Professor Sutton also said that although regional Victoria was generally ahead of Melbourne in its vaccination rate, restrictions would not be eased in areas that hit the 70 and 80 per cent double-dose benchmark early.
"The plan for the roadmap is statewide," he said.
"It is really difficult to pick off individual Local Government Areas, people would make the claim for a patchwork of LGAs within metropolitan Melbourne on that basis.
"We are looking to that statewide average. But again, I am calling out for every Local Government Area that doesn't have that higher vaccination coverage, there will be movement of people through your LGA into regional Victoria and across Melbourne, more so as time goes by."
EARLIER, 9AM: There are further promising signs that Victoria's latest COVID outbreak might have turned a corner, with new cases numbers continuing to fall.
The state confirmed 1466 new cases on Tuesday morning, almost 500 less than the high reached on Saturday.
It is the third consecutive day of decline in new cases.
Sadly, however, eight more people have died from the virus in the 24 hours to midnight on Monday.
The current outbreak has now claimed 101 lives in Victoria.
There are now 19,627 active cases throughout the state.
Today's cases are down from yesterday's 1466 cases, 1890 new cases on Sunday and 1965 cases on Saturday.
More information about the new cases, including new Ballarat figures, is expected to be released later today.
Reported yesterday: 1,466 new local cases and 0 cases acquired overseas.— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) October 11, 2021
- 36,383 vaccines administered
- 68,509 test results received
- Sadly, 8 people with COVID-19 have died
More later: https://t.co/OCCFTAtS1P#COVID19Vic#COVID19VicDatapic.twitter.com/8DLXRJ9T04
The new figures come as Ballarat's vaccination uptakes surges at unprecedented levels.
More than 92% of the eligible population have now received their first COVID vaccination in Ballarat, while the fully vaccinated rate has increased to 63.5%.
There have been no new exposure sites listed in Ballarat since Sunday, when two Sturt Street venues became tier one sites.
Meanwhile, older Victorians who have held back on getting the AstraZeneca jab can now access Pfizer and Moderna as the state races to re-open.
Health Minister Martin Foley said there was now enough vaccine supply in Victoria to open all brands to every age group eligible for inoculation.
"This change, which is now in effect, has been made possible by the relative certainty we now have for both Moderna and Pfizer, and the extraordinary number of young people who have come forward over the past three and a half weeks," he told reporters on Monday.
Previously people over 60 were only able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at state hubs.
As of Sunday, 85.8 per cent of Victorians over 16 had received their first vaccine, including 92.9 per cent of people over 50.
"Victoria is well on the way to becoming one of the world's most vaccinated jurisdictions," Mr Foley said.
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