Vic's latest Omicron wave is peaking: CHO

·2-min read

A spike in Victoria's reported COVID-19 deaths is not cause for alarm as the state hits the peak of its latest Omicron wave, the chief health officer says.

An additional 107 deaths were reported in the state on Friday, bringing the state's COVID-19 death toll to 4577.

But the Victorian health department confirmed only two deaths occurred in the previous 24 hours, with the vast majority coming over the past month.

The high number was an outlier, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said, with the state's COVID-19 death toll averaging around 19 per day in recent weeks

Those COVID-19 deaths, cases and hospitalisations should start to decline as the latest Omicron wave passes.

"We're probably at the peak of the wave right now in terms of case numbers," Professor Sutton told reporters on Friday.

"But it's absolutely the case that this pandemic is not over.

"We have to think about everyone around us and our health system... not just about our individual personal risks because infectious diseases don't allow us to only think about ourselves."

Masks were still part of the public health message even though there were no mandates in place, Prof Sutton said.

The state government confirmed earlier this month it had rejected mandating masks despite having advice from the acting chief health officer.

"There is always a process of review as we go through different phases," Prof Sutton said. "It can and should be under review all of the time.

"The public health recommendation was to consider a mandate but it is for the minister to make pandemic orders with consideration of all of those other inputs."

Prof Sutton, who has not fronted the media in months, denied the Victorian government was keeping him away from the public.

"I'm always happy to accept an invitation that comes through to me to be able to speak," he said.

He also encouraged Victorians to mask up where possible and keep up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

"The best vaccine you can get is the one you can get now," Prof Sutton said.

"We're in a COVID soup right now. There is a lot of transmission around and you would not want to defer getting protection."

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