Victoria’s daily COVID-19 numbers have jumped by more than 200 infections, while NSW recorded 216 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths.
On Victoria’s first day living with new freedoms, it reported eight deaths and 1,273 new virus infections, up from 1,007 the previous day.
The health department confirmed on Friday there are now 13,813 active cases across Victoria.
There are 330 virus patients in hospital, with 57 actively infected with COVID-19 in ICU, while 58 have been cleared, and 30 are on ventilators.
In NSW the requirements for COVID-19 close contacts could change, to avoid schools opening and closing.
On Victoria’s first day living with new freedoms, it reported eight deaths and 1,273 new virus infections, up from 1,007 the previous day (pictured: Melbourne’s Chinatown on Thursday)
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the crisis cabinet – now called the COVID Economic Recovery Committee – will review the issue next week.
‘There will be positive cases in schools, but we don’t want to close them for a substantial period of time,’ he said on Friday.
‘I don’t want kids sitting at home. I want them in the classroom.’
In his Friday update, NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty asked parents in particular to ‘watch out’ for COVID-19 symptoms in their children and keep them home to get tested if any arise.
‘That will help protect the rest of the school,’ Dr McAnulty said.
The 216 new local cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday were diagnosed from 72,893 tests.
This was a drop of 46 cases from the previous day.
Three men died from the virus, none of whom were fully vaccinated, taking the death toll for the pandemic in NSW to 620.
An unvaccinated man in his 50s died at St George Hospital and an unvaccinated man in his 60s died at Wollongong Hospital while a man in his 80s, who had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine died at Albury Base Hospital after acquiring the infection at Corowa Hospital.
Some 196 people are hospitalised with the virus and 28 are in intensive care, 15 of whom require ventilation.
Victorian health officials say virus testers processed 73,020 results on Thursday and 5842 people were vaccinated at state-run hubs.
In NSW the requirements for COVID-19 close contacts could change, to avoid schools opening and closing
Victoria is now 88 per cent double-vaccinated in those aged over 12.
Almost all remaining coronavirus restrictions lifted just before midnight on Friday, as the state inches closer to 90 per cent full vaccination in those aged over 12.
Double-dosed Victorians are now able to dance in clubs, and home visitor limits as well as cafe, bar and restaurant density caps have been dumped.
Meanwhile, issues around Victoria’s new restrictions are beginning to emerge, as health officials concede parents cannot add their children’s vaccination certificates to the Services Victoria app.
Non-essential retail, hospitality and events have restarted for all people aged over 12 years and two months who are fully vaccinated, unless they have a valid exemption.
However, only people aged over 14 are allowed to set up a Medicare account, meaning children between 12 and 14 are relying on their parents to prove their vaccine status.
Premier Daniel Andrews lifted almost all remaining coronavirus restrictions just before midnight on Friday
COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said initial focus in creating the Services Victoria app was on functionality, and that parents will be able to add their dependents to the app ‘in a couple of weeks’.
‘In the meantime, people can print a digital certificate or immunisation history from their GP,’ he told 3AW.
‘It’s not as if people can’t move around.’
Additionally, retailers caught on the hop in the lead-up to a busy sales period are calling for leniency in enforcing vaccine checks for customers.
NSW is inching closer to the 95 per cent mark for first dose vaccinations, with 94.3 per cent of residents over 16 having stepped forward for at least one jab. Some 91.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Of the 12- to 15-year-old age group, 74.6 per cent are fully vaccinated and 80.8 per cent have received at least one vaccine.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said QR codes could soon be retired in lower risk settings like coffee shops and shopping centres.
‘If the vaccination rates maintain a high trajectory and we see lower case numbers, we can retire them in low risk settings but as we’ve seen in Europe you might need to turn them back on,’ Mr Dominello told ABC Radio on Friday morning.
‘A high risk setting would be going into a retirement village or a nursing home where clearly there will be a need for check-ins for not just the immediate future but the foreseeable future.’
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the crisis cabinet – now called the COVID Economic Recovery Committee – will review the schools issue next week