Victoria has another 36 COVID-related deaths and 11,240 more cases, as more than 1000 students and staff remain home after testing positive.
Of Friday’s cases, 3889 are positive PCR tests and 7351 positive rapid antigen tests.
The total number of active cases in the state is 65,968, down 680 from Thursday.
Hospitalisations with COVID-19 have fallen by 45 to 707 patients, the lowest figure since January 7.
There are 79 people in intensive care, three fewer than the previous day, with 29 of those on a ventilator.
It comes as Victoria’s school surveillance testing program continued to pick up cases among students and staff in the first week of classes resuming.
About 1000 students and 79 staff returned a positive test from 4pm on Tuesday to 4pm on Wednesday, up from 682 students and 63 staff in the previous 24-hour window.
But the numbers aren’t comparable because students are not required to use rapid antigen tests on specific days under the twice-weekly recommendation.
No schools have closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks or staff shortages. The Victorian government has previously declared a return to remote learning a last resort.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the cases were worth keeping kids in school after two COVID-disrupted years.
“It’s a price or a cost of getting our kids back into the classroom. But the value and the worth of that is just huge,” he said on Thursday.