Victoria continues to linger close to an alarming milestone as its Covid crisis rolls on and prompts further questions over whether the state can safely open up in a matter of weeks.
With its 1890 new locally acquired cases on Sunday, it remains agonisingly close to 2,000 daily cases which has never been reached by any state or territory.
It is the second highest daily total of the pandemic, with the highest, 1965 cases, recorded just 24 hours earlier.
Known daily infections have more than doubled since September 29's 950 cases, a worrying rise Premier Daniel Andrews partly attributed to AFL Grand Final parties.
A further five deaths were recorded, taking the outbreak's death toll to 85.
As cases continue to surge, health officials have ripped up its contact tracing process, ditching the need for secondary close contacts to isolate instead focusing on the growing number of positive cases and primary contacts.
Health Department deputy secretary Kate Matson said since Victoria was no longer pursuing a COVID-zero strategy, about 16,000 secondary contacts would be able to leave isolation at the weekend.
Ms Matson said the state was "on track" to hit 3000 cases a day by the end of October, when the state's 70 per cent double dosed target is predicted to be met.
Epidemiologist Professor Nancy Baxter from the University of Melbourne told news.com.au opening up as cases soar would be "terrible" for the state.
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