Victoria has reported another 34 COVID-related deaths and 12,157 cases, as the number of people in hospital battling the virus hits a three-week low.
The latest cases, confirmed by the health department on Thursday, were made up of 5588 from PCR tests and 6569 from rapid antigen tests.
The total number of active cases in the state is 66,648, down 7238 from Wednesday.
Victoria’s hospitalisations with COVID-19 have also fallen. They are down 16 to 752 patients, the lowest figure since January 10.
There are 82 people in intensive care, 17 fewer than on Wednesday. They include 29 patients on ventilators.
It came as the Victorian government faces pressure from tired nurses not to reverse a pause on non-urgent elective surgery.
Private hospitals have been told the ban on category two and three elective surgery could be lifted as early as next week as hospitalisations fall.
But the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation wants it retained to allow nurses to take leave and give health authorities more time to gauge if the hospitals peak has passed.
Premier Daniel Andrews said “no one’s rushing” the return of less urgent elective surgery and the state government was still consulting with the industry.
About 41 per cent of Victorians aged over 18 have received a COVID-19 booster, after 15,920 doses were administered at state clinics on Wednesday.