Victoria has posted another 25 COVID-related deaths and 14,553 cases, as the state’s rapid testing system in schools uncovers 150 infections among students and staff.
The latest cases, confirmed by the health department on Wednesday, were made up of 7621 from PCR tests and 6932 from rapid antigen tests.
They are a jump up from 11,311 local infections confirmed on Tuesday.
The total number of active cases in the state is 73,886, which is also up slightly from Tuesday to 72,710.
However, hospitalisations with COVID-19 have fallen by 83 to 768 patients.
There are 99 people in intensive care, seven fewer than the previous day. They include 31 on a ventilator.
About 40 per cent of Victorians aged over 18 have received a COVID-19 booster, after 17,644 doses were administered at state clinics on Tuesday.
It comes after Victoria’s rapid testing surveillance regime in schools detected 150 COVID-19 cases.
About 100 students and 50 staff from 121 schools across the state returned a positive rapid result on Monday, as most pupils returned to classes for term one.
The state government is “strongly” recommending primary and secondary students and staff undergo twice-weekly rapid antigen tests at home before class. Those at specialist schools are asked to test five days a week.
Education Minister James Merlino forewarned the return of classes would lead to increased cases and schools were in for a bumpy first few weeks.
With one million students and 110,000 staff in Victoria’s school system, a state government spokeswoman said the cases made up a low proportion of the community.
“The low but consistent statewide detection of cases through our school rapid testing program shows how important this initiative is in catching cases before they enter the classroom to keep school communities safer,” she said in a statement.
“All affected schools managed their cases incredibly well, with clear emails to families alerting them to a positive case and the details of the exposure so parents can monitor their students for symptoms and make their own public health decisions.”