Victoria tallied new 627 cases of coronavirus overnight, marking the state’s second-highest daily tally after yesterday’s record high of 723.

The state recorded eight new deaths, bringing Australia’s death toll to 112.

Speaking in Melbourne this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said four of those deaths are linked to the aged care system.

“We have a very difficult challenge at the moment,” he said.

Discussing the ongoing Stage 3 restrictions across metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the State Government is “exploring” the possibility of Stage 4 lockdowns.

“Obviously, a step up in restrictions is a really significant measure, but we are wanting it to be informed by evidence to the fullest extent possible,” Sutton said.

He added that authorities are aware of potential “unfortunate consequences” of further restrictions on settings which are not contributing to the state’s harrowing surge in coronavirus cases.

Previously, Andrews said much of the state was effectively already under Stage 4 restrictions due to new rules around mandatory face coverings.

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