Victorians’ hopes that 2022 would see a turn for the better are taking a battering as COVID infections continue to soar.
The first day of 2022 saw an additional 7172 Victorians become confirmed COVID cases, with three more virus-related deaths also recorded for January 1.
However the number of Victorian coronavirus patients in hospital care remains relatively stable at 472, up 19 on Saturday’s figure and 48 beyond the seven-day average.
Of them, 52 are classified as active ICU cases and 22 are in need of ventilation. In total, Victoria is managing 31,461 active COVID-19 cases.
Health authorities says virus testers managed to process 48,252 results in the 24 hours to Saturday evening.
The state is 93 per cent fully vaccinated for everyone aged 12 and over.
Some 7442 infections were reported the previous day, setting another grim pandemic record. There were 51 actively infectious patients in intensive care and 21 ventilated.
New close-contact rules
Meanwhile, Victoria has moved to new isolation and close-contact rules in line with definitions agreed at national cabinet.
Positive cases must inform their household and social contacts of their illness and can now isolate for seven days, rather than 10, regardless of vaccination status.
Household contacts of positive cases must also isolate for seven days and can use a rapid antigen test for the all-clear if they are not symptomatic, but must get a PCR test if they show symptoms.
Workplace and school contacts are no longer required to get a test and isolate until they receive a result.
International travellers now have the option of completing a rapid antigen test on arrival – as well as on day five to seven – but are no longer required to isolate.
Extreme heat caused the closure of eight of the state’s testing sites on Saturday.