Ballarat has reported 473 new cases of COVID-19 in one day, as the number of active infections rise to the highest levels in the state.
Ballarat now has the highest ratio of active COVID cases in Victoria, with almost 1 in 50 people currently infected with the virus, according to health department data.
There is a ratio of 1941.5 active cases per 100,000 people in Ballarat, with Warrnambool the second highest at a rate of 1787.9 active cases per 100,000 people.
In comparison, Geelong has 1410 cases per 100,000 people and Bendigo has 1475 active cases per 100,000 people.
The new cases are among the city's highest since the pandemic began and have been continuing in an upward trend since the start of the year, as restrictions in Victoria eased.
Statewide COVID cases also continue to rise in with 14,220 new infections reported on Wednesday.
There are 510 people in hospital with the virus, while 31 are in the ICU.
Five of those patients are on a ventilator.
Twenty-two people have died in the latest reporting period, up from 20 on Tuesday and five on Monday.
It comes as the number of people presenting to the emergency department in Ballarat with flu-like illnesses has increased almost 50 per cent in the past week.
The threat comes as hospital staff continues to feel the pressure of the pandemic.
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