It’s looking like the huge spike in new COVID cases in Victoria is largely due to people flouting the lockdown restrictions to gather in homes, especially over the state’s Grand Final long weekend, Premier Dan Andrews has revealed.

In Thursday’s daily COVID press conference, Andrews said that interviews conducted with people who have tested positive indicate that a lot of people have been gathering in homes despite the current lockdown restrictions. He said that this means a lot of the 1438 cases reported today could have been “easily preventable”.

“Many hundreds, if not thousands, of people have made some choices that meant they’re spending time not in their own home but someone else’s home,” he said. “And that’s how we know this virus spreads.”

COVID Response Commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed the “surge event” is a result of many people across the state evidently letting their guards down over the Grand Final long weekend, and attending social gatherings beyond the allowable five-person, fully-vaxxed picnics in the park.

“The surge this event, the 50% increase in numbers is down to a significant number of social gatherings over Friday and Saturday last weekend,” Weimar said.

“A third of our cases are due directly to those different types of social gatherings, as people have dropped their guard, and decided now it’s the Grand Final weekend, it’s the long weekend, we deserve a bit of a pay back, we deserve a nicer time. And that has now translated into additional 500 cases from what we expected to see today.

“These numbers are higher than we’d like, they’re higher than they’re meant to be.”

It was also revealed that there’s been a large shift in the age ranges of people who are testing positive to COVID after the long weekend, with 55% of the cases are between the 20 to 40 year old age range.

Weimar also said that the new cases are “sparking off of new households”, and have resulted in a spike in cases in the south-east and eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

“Unlike in previous days and weeks, we’ve been reporting a very static picture,” he said.

“Now a quarter of all today’s cases, 329 of them, are in the east and south-eastern suburbs.”

Of today’s cases, it’s confirmed that a third of people were partially vaccinated, and 7% were fully-vaxxed. 398 people are currently in hospital in Victoria, with 83 of those people in intensive care and 57 people on a ventilator.


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The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

Image: Getty Images / Asanka Ratnayake