There is little respite for Victorians as the state's daunting Delta outbreak continued on Saturday with another huge spike in cases.
The Department of Health announced a further 1965 locally acquired Covid-19 cases and five more deaths.
The case total is the largest daily increase of any state since the pandemic began.
The outbreak's death toll has now begun to significantly grow as a result of surging case numbers weeks ago and now stands at 80.
There are now more than 17,000 active cases across the state.
While vaccine rates mean Victoria's roadmap is on course, experts are expressing their concern over opening up as daily cases routinely hit new highs.
“A lot more people will die if we open up with high numbers than if we open up with low numbers,” Melbourne University clinical epidemiologist Professor Nancy Baxter told news.com.au.
She said Australians were now fixated on vaccine rates but that is not the full picture, saying reopening at a time of rampant transmission was "terrible" and would be devastating to the already stretched health system.
On Friday a seven-day snap lockdown was announced for the border town of Mildura after a rise in cases in the area.
Premier Daniel Andrews was slapped with a $400 fine for two Covid breaches where he failed to wear a face mask as he arrived to press briefings.
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