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COVID cases fall in Vic, 13 more deaths

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Victoria has reported another 13 deaths from COVID-19, and 8521 more infections.

Of Friday’s cases, 5359 were detected through rapid antigen tests, and 3162 through PCR testing.

It is a drop of nearly 900 on the 9391 infections confirmed on Thursday.

The state is managing 55,617 active cases, with 553 people in hospital, 82 in intensive care and 23 on ventilation.

State-run hubs administered 14,650 vaccine doses on Thursday, and about 49 per cent of Victorians over 18 have received a booster shot.

Also on Thursday, the state’s chief health officer extended the deadline for key workers to get a booster, allowing another four weeks.

It means health and aged care, emergency, disability, quarantine and food distribution workers eligible for a third dose before January 12 will now have until March 12 to receive their booster.

Workers in those sectors who became eligible after January 12 must have received their third vaccine dose by March 29.

Healthcare workers must provide evidence of their vaccination status or a medical exemption to continue working, according to the CHO’s Thursday update.

Police Association Secretary Wayne Gatt said police were being told they had until midnight on Friday to have booked in for a third dose to be able to continue working.

He said the situation “smacks of a bureaucratic nightmare” and could lead to fewer police on the streets.

“Some of these people … simply won’t be able to get that booster shot in the time frames, and they won’t be able to come to work with that proof of booking tonight,” he told 3AW.

“We’re an emergency service, so at midnight tonight, to throw that on us at the 11th hour and not give employers flexibility … even the opportunity to organise yourself, is particularly ham-fisted and frustrating.”

Health authorities have been contacted for comment.

-AAP

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