Record tumbles as Omicron makes up three in four Victorian Covid cases

·2-min read

Victoria has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus cases after more than 8,500 people tested positive.

The health department on Monday morning said 8,577 more people have tested positive for Covid-19 with three more deaths.

Hospitalisations also increased to 491, which is 19 more than Sunday’s figure and 47 beyond the seven-day average. Fifty-six people are in the ICU with 24 on ventilators.

In total, Victoria is managing 38,118 active Covid-19 cases.

People queue at a walk-in Covid-19 testing site at the Melbourne Town Hall in Melbourne.
People at Melbourne Town Hall wait for Covid testing. Source: AAP

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said community sampling showed 76 per cent of all Covid-19 samples collected over the Christmas period were identified as the Omicron variant.

Further testing to confirm this figure will be undertaken over the next week.

It comes after extreme heat forced the closure of eight of the state's testing sites on Saturday, blowing out queues and test result wait times.

One man told AAP he had been waiting four days for his result and was yet to receive it as of 2pm on Sunday, after taking a PCR test at Melbourne Town Hall on December 29.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said 76 per cent of samples taken over the Christmas period are the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Source: AAP

He tested positive on two rapid antigen tests and had tried calling the Coronavirus Test Results Hotline a number of times but was told they were too busy to take his call.

Early Childhood Minister Ingrid Stitt admitted there was "unprecedented demand" on the testing system in recent days, but said results were "overwhelmingly" coming through within 24 to 48 hours.

The state's health minister is expected to make an announcement on access to rapid antigen tests within days.

with AAP

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