Victoria has recorded 324 new local Covid-19 cases on Thursday, a huge jump in daily cases from previous days.
After recording three straight days in the low to mid 200s, the state's latest Delta outbreak continues to head in a worrying direction. Today's number is the worst daily tally of Covid cases in Victoria since August 14, 2020.
Of the 324 local cases, 107 have so far been linked to known cases and outbreaks, the Health Department said on Thursday morning.
That leaves 217 cases currently unlinked as active cases in Victoria surge passed 2,000. Officials are on longer saying how many were infectious in the community.
The new cases were detected among 54,242 test results.
In the same 24-hour reporting period, Victoria administered 37,604 vaccines jabs.
Police head to the regions as lockdown lifts
Hundreds of police are headed for regional Victoria to keep Melburnians from fleeing as country residents prepare to revel in more Covid-19 freedoms.
All of regional Victoria except for Greater Shepparton is set to exit lockdown just before midnight tonight, with cafes, restaurants and bars able to fling open their doors with strict patron limits.
About 200 police officers will be sent to patrol the edges of Melbourne and Shepparton to ensure people do not leave locked-down areas.
Booze buses, random checkpoints, roving patrols and number plate recognition technology will be used to catch out rule-breakers, rather than the "ring of steel" approach adopted last year.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent conceded some Melburnians might be tempted to try their luck, but warned they faced a $5452 fine.
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