Two deaths, 445 COVID-19 cases in Victoria

 Victoria's Health Minister Martin Foley. Picture: Getty
Victoria's Health Minister Martin Foley. Picture: Getty

Victoria has recorded 445 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and two deaths, bringing the toll from the current outbreak to six.

The health department on Tuesday confirmed 129 cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the remaining 316 infections under investigation.

The new infections bring the total number of active cases in the state to 3799.

In the 24 hours to Tuesday morning, 42,694 tests were processed and 36,615 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs.

Further case information, including details on the two people who have died, are expected later this morning.

Victoria Police chief commissioner Shane Patton says he has created "two permanent COVID-19 commands" dealing with pandemic response and hotel quarantine, to run until the end of next year.

"Now, that doesn't mean that we're expecting restrictions until the end of 2022, but that's when I put it in place to out of an abundance of caution," he told 3AW.

Meanwhile, a Melbourne school at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak will be questioned amid claims it was operating at full capacity despite tough lockdown restrictions.

Authorities are investigating the outbreak at Fitzroy Community School after 29 students and staff contracted the virus, with 82 close contacts identified.

Only children of permitted workers and those who are vulnerable are allowed to attend school in Melbourne, but the school of 60 students had been inviting all parents to send their kids to class.

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The school, which describes itself as an "independent, alternative primary school", has been closed for deep cleaning.

Health Minister Martin Foley said Victoria's outbreak "continues to be a pandemic of the young and unvaccinated", as 87 per cent of Monday's cases were aged under 50, with 585 younger than 19.

Eighty-nine per cent of the 157 people fighting COVID-19 in hospital are unvaccinated, while 11 per cent had received one dose.

Monash Health is currently caring for six pregnant women with the virus, four in a dedicated COVID-19 maternity ward and two in ICU. None are fully vaccinated and one has had one dose.

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said an increasing number of cases had been linked to the construction industry, which is currently subject to a vaccination blitz and compliance crackdown.

This story Two deaths, 445 COVID-19 cases in Victoria first appeared on The Canberra Times.