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Victorian COVID-19 hospitalisations rise to 976 as state records 18 deaths

ABC Health logo ABC Health 3 days ago

Victoria's COVID-19 hospitalisations have risen to 976, as the state records 18 deaths.

Of those in hospital, there are 112 patients in intensive care, 30 of whom are on ventilators.

Authorities have said the vast majority of those in intensive care are unvaccinated.

The government has highlighted the number of critically ill patients is lower than previous waves, but the sheer volume of Omicron cases is putting dangerous pressure on the healthcare system.

The ABC understands the government is preparing to use vacant hotels that have been part of the state's quarantine program to house patients, in an effort to ease some of the pressure on hospital wards.

There are now at least 239,396 active cases in the state, a day after the government announced Victorian teachers, truck drivers and other essential workers would be able to attend work, even if they are a household contact of a positive case.

The death toll of the current outbreak has risen to 835.

The state's overwhelmed testing network is currently unable to give a true indication of the number of new cases in the community, but recorded 34,836 new infections.

Those cases were reported from 19,396 PCR results and 15,440 at-home rapid antigen tests (RATs).

Victorians who are eligible for their third vaccine dose are being urged to book it immediately in a bid to slow transmission of the Omicron variant.

About 21 per cent of Victorian adults have received three doses of a vaccine so far.

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