Two cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Aboriginal communities in the Victorian city of Ballarat.
The new cases have prompted the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation to "strongly encourage" Aboriginal people in regional Victoria to wear a face mask, even though they are only compulsory in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.
"We know communities have been working hard to minimise any infections which have been quite successful to date, but we are entering a very challenging period," CEO Jill Gallagher said in a statement.
"We are seeing alarming rates of community transmission - unlike the first lockdown period."
Ms Gallagher says people must continue to stay home where they can, wear masks, practice good hygiene, practice physical distancing and follow the limits for public gatherings.
A total of 37 Aboriginal people have tested positive to the coronavirus, and 19 cases remain active.
More than half the cases have been in people aged between 15 and 44, with spikes of new infections among the community identified in the Brimbank, Melton and Wyndham local government areas.