BALLARAT COVID UPDATE | Tuesday, December 7
NEW CASES: 4 (down from 6 yesterday)
ACTIVE CASES: 53 (down from 56 yesterday)
Ballarat has recorded four new cases of COVID in the 24 hours to midnight, Monday as statewide figures continue to bounce around 1000 new cases each day.
The number of active cases in Ballarat has also dropped to 53, down from 56 on Monday.
Three of today's new cases are listed in the 3350 postcode while one is in the 3352 area.
The Moorabool Shire has recorded four new cases, with its active tally standing at 40.
The Golden Plains Shire has reported two new cases while the Hepburn Shire has reported one.
The Pyrenees Shire has not recorded any new cases.
VICTORIAN COVID UPDATE | Tuesday, December 7
NEW CASES: 1,185(up from 1,073 yesterday)
DEATHS: 7(down from 6 yesterday)
ACTIVE CASES: 13,050(down from 16,503 yesterday)
IN HOSPITAL: 297 (down from 310 yesterday)
IN ICU: 47(up from 45 yesterday)
ON VENTILATOR: 25 (up from 19 yesterday)
Victoria has recorded 1185 new COVID-19 infections and another seven deaths, taking its toll from the pandemic to 1385.
The health department confirmed on Tuesday the state is managing 13,050 active cases, dropping from 16,503 on Monday.
There are 297 patients in the state's hospitals, 10 of whom are in intensive care and 25 requiring ventilation.
The seven-day hospitalisation average sits at 295.
Testers processed 52,257 results on Monday, while 3769 people were vaccinated in state-run hubs.
More than 91 per cent of Victorians over 12 are fully vaccinated.
In Ballarat, the number of active cases have continued to grow over the past week.
Today's figures are yet to be released, but as of Monday there were 56 active COVID cases in the city, the highest that figure has been since November 5.
As the dust settles following the protest from Sunday, the City of Ballarat CEO says a serving councillor who attending the rally did not break any rules.
A business that was subjected to online abuse has also expressed its heartfelt appreciation to the Ballarat public for its support since the weekend.
Meanwhile, a flexible response will be crucial from state governments in order to contain the spread of the Omicron variant, according to a leading infectious diseases expert.
The call comes with Queensland set to ease its border restrictions to virus hot spots such as NSW, which has seen a recent uptick in Omicron cases of COVID-19.
Queensland will open its border to fully vaccinated people from December 13, four days ahead of schedule.
That is despite NSW now having 25 cases of Omicron, after 10 new infections were picked up on Monday.
Infectious diseases expert at the University of Queensland Dr Paul Griffin said jurisdictions would need to have an agile response against Omicron that could easily be scaled up should it be required.
However, he said such a response would not mean the reintroduction of large-scale COVID-prevention measures such as lockdowns.
"I like to think that with our high vaccination rates - and we know the vaccines provide a similar level of protection against Omicron - lockdowns will be a thing of the past," he told the Seven Network.
"Masks might be something we use to control certain areas of transmission, particularly high-risk environments, and while they are not 100 per cent effective, masks definitely help in reducing transmission."
The latest government figures have shown more than 88 per cent of the population 16 and over are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, children aged between five and 11-years-old are set to be able to get their vaccinations for COVID-19 from early next year, after Australia's medical regulator gave the green light to the cohort.
While Queensland is easing its border measures after months of restrictions, travellers will still need to undergo tests to enter the state.
Interstate travellers from virus hotspots will need to prove they have tested negative before they arrive, as well as take a second test on their fifth day in the Sunshine State.
Dr Griffin said the measures would be effective in helping reopen Queensland.
"There is an opportunity for people to get infected before they leave, or even while travelling," he said.
"That day five test will give us a way to catch those people that have been infected subsequent to that first test, and that way we can make sure we limit the spread from those people if they introduce the virus to the state."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged states and territories to stick to the national reopening plan.
He said premiers should hold their nerve while more Omicron cases are detected.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said his government would move quickly to close the state border, should it prove necessary.
There were 208 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in NSW on Monday, while Victoria had 1073 cases and six fatalities.
The ACT registered six infections on Monday, while four were detected in South Australia.
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