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Victoria has 37,169 virus cases, 25 deaths

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Victoria has reported another 37,169 COVID cases and 25 deaths, as new pandemic orders come into effect across the state.

Thursday’s infections are made up of 16,843 from rapid tests and 20,326 from PCR tests, state health authorities said.

There are 953 patients in hospital – a slight rise on the 946 reported on Wednesday. They include 111 in intensive care, of whom 29 require ventilators.

The state is managing 221,726 active cases.

The number of Victorians over 18 who have received a booster vaccine has risen by 2 per cent, to 20 per cent.

New rules requiring hospitality and entertainment venues to close indoor dance floors came into effect on Thursday.

Dance floors at weddings will be permitted as guests can be easily tracked down.

Mandatory booster arrangements have also kicked in, requiring key workers currently eligible for a third dose to get it before February 12.

The rules apply to disability, health and aged-care workers, as well as those working in emergency services, corrections, quarantine and food distribution.

Isolation rules have changed for supermarket retail workers and those who work in the manufacturing, distribution or packaging of food.

These workers are now exempt from isolating if they become a COVID-19 close contact. However, they must be asymptomatic, undertake daily rapid antigen tests for five days and return a negative test before working.

Meanwhile, rule changes in hospitals mean anyone visiting must be fully vaccinated or return a negative rapid test before entering, and wear an N95 mask.

Aged-care residents can have only five visitors a day, who must also return a negative RAT.

-AAP

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