COVID-19 numbers have continued to remain stubbornly high in Victoria, despite the state passing the 90 per cent fully vaccinated rate, and the same goes for Gippsland where there has been a slight rise in the past few days.

While the state added a further 1252 new cases of COVID-19, reported on Saturday, November 27, to make it 11,257 active cases in Victoria, Gippsland’s numbers also increased to 342, up by 25 on the numbers reported on Friday.

Locally, Bass Coast has 39 active cases 6 more, Baw Baw 70/4, East Gippsland 122/10, Latrobe City 56/2, South Gippsland 29/2 and Wellington 26/3.

The 12 and over vaccination status of Victoria stands at 93.7 per cent single dose and 90.4 per cent double dose.

There are 299 COVID-19 cases in hospital in Victoria, 42 active cases and 48 cleared cases are in intensive care, with 22 cases on a ventilator.

Of those in hospital 62 per cent were not fully vaccinated and of those in ICU 82 per cent were not fully vaccinated.

The 10 Local Government areas with the highest number of new cases are Hume, Casey, Wyndham, Brimbank, Melton, Whittlesea, Boroondara, Port Phillip, Greater Dandenong, and Moreland.

Sadly, the Health Department was notified yesterday of five deaths of people aged in their 50s, 70s and 80s. This brings the total number of deaths in Victoria since the pandemic began to 1318.

There were 57,292 COVID-19 tests processed on Friday.

New COVID-19 variant of concern

In response to the new Omicron B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant of concern, Victorian health authorities are working with our Commonwealth and state and territory colleagues to better understand the potential implications of this new variant and which mitigation strategies are required to keep Australians protected.

COVID-19 vaccination booster doses

The Commonwealth is leading the COVID-19 vaccination booster program across Australia and doses can now be booked online. Anyone aged 18 years and over, who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago, is encouraged to get a COVID-19 booster now.

Those who completed a primary vaccination course overseas with a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration can also get a booster dose.

Booster doses are available from GPs, pharmacists and from Victorian vaccination centres.

People can call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or use the online booking system to book a booster dose appointment, or walk-in to a vaccination centre.

Reminder about face masks

Workers and visitors are required to wear a mask indoors at healthcare settings.

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home, except in certain limited circumstances. It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

Masks are required in certain settings across Victoria for:

* Indoors only for primary school staff, visitors aged 12 years and above, and for students in Grades 3 to 6.

* Workers serving the public at hospitality venues.

* Workers and customers at indoor retail.

* Workers in high-risk settings such as in prisons and other detention facilities.

* Workers in an abattoir, meat, seafood and poultry processing sites.

* All persons in indoor areas of a court which are open to the public or used by jurors. 

* Workers in resident-facing roles and visitors, while indoors at care facilities.

* Visitors at a hospital.

* Workers and visitors in indoor healthcare settings including community health centres (including mental health, child and maternity, and drug and alcohol counselling services centres), general practices, COVID-19 related healthcare sites (including testing, vaccination and hotel quarantine facilities), health clinics (including medical specialist and allied health clinics), diagnostic and medical imaging centres, mobile health services or blood donation centres.

* Workers and customers at hairdressers and beauty salons can remove their mask if necessary for the service (e.g. beard trimming).

* On public transport, in taxis/rideshare services, in tourism vehicles and on commercial flights.

* At an airport.

There will also be mask requirements, density limits and caps in place for weddings, funerals, worship settings and other settings if the vaccination status of people attending is unknown, or not being checked.