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Victoria's Covid-19 outbreak escalated on Thursday, with daily cases surging beyond 50.
The Department of Health revealed 57 new locally acquired cases, 10 of those infectious in the community.
Three of the cases are unlinked and are mystery infections at this stage.
The spike comes after a nine-day stretch where all but one daily total sat in the low 20s.
The daily total is Victoria's highest since September 9, when the state recorded 76 cases during the tail end of its daunting second wave.
The spike in new cases is a result of day-13 testing for several close contacts associated with outbreaks at schools, including Al-Taqwa College and Mt Alexander College, AAP understands.
Health authorities are racing to find the source of a rising number of mystery cases in Melbourne's south.
They include a sex worker in the beachside suburb of St Kilda, who tested positive for the virus after presenting at an emergency department.
Anyone who lives or works in the area is urged to come forward for testing even if they don't have symptoms.
Testing and vaccine efforts have been ramped up around St Kilda, including a drive-through and walk-up testing centre at the Palais Theatre car park and a pop-up vaccine hub at Peanut Farm Reserve.
A number of exposure sites have been listed in the suburb, including the Salvation Army Crisis Centre and the Sacred Heart Mission Women's House and Dining Hall.
Thursday marks Victoria's 200th day in lockdown amid the pandemic, with the latest case total putting Premier Daniel Andrews' lockdown extension end date of September 2 at risk.
Some 49,607 tests were processed in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, while 27,581 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.
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