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Victoria records 1838 COVID-19 cases, an Australian record

Victoria has recorded 1838 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths in the 24 hours to midnight.

The tally of more than 1800 cases is the highest daily total recorded in Australia during the pandemic.

It comes just days after Victoria broke the previous record of 1599 from NSW on September 11, when it hit 1763 on October 5 and 1638 on Thursday, October 7.

The number of active infections in the state is now 16,823.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has also revealed that Greater Bendigo, Loddon and Benella are among areas that will be added to the "cross community area" border bubble with NSW.

"This means that people living within the bubble can enter and leave without a permit so long as they have stayed within that bubble area in the past 14 days," he said.

An extra 113 cases were added to those in regional Victoria in today's tally.

Professor Sutton has also mandated mask wearing for some grades of regional schools to keep them open.

Schoolchildren in grade three and above will be required to wear masks indoors at school while for kids in prep to grade two it will be strongly recommended but not mandated

"There is good evidence to support this decision," he said.

Jane Munro, a paediatrician at the Royal Children's Hospital and a medical advisor at the Department of Health said the mask wearing was the simplest step to get kids back into the classroom and reduce the risks both to the children and their families who they could pass COVID onto.

"We need to get our kids back at school and keep them at school," she said.

"This decision for kids to wear masks at school is a good one. It is backed by good science.

"It is simple, it is safe. There are no health risks for a child wearing a mask. It is easy to do and it is also common sense."

IN OTHER NEWS:

A huge number of Victorians were tested yesterday for the virus with 77,554 tests processed, also a record while another 36,600 vaccinations were administered at state-run sites.

Victoria's coronavirus infection numbers continue to climb as the state faces an anxious wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease, while watching NSW enjoy new freedoms.

More Victorians are being hospitalised while battling the virus, with 39 people admitted on Wednesday, bringing the total in hospital to 564.

The death toll is also rising, with two more deaths reported on Thursday, taking the toll from the current outbreak to 70.

Premier Daniel Andrews said daily cases were "higher than we'd like them to be" and urged Melburnians and regional residents in lockdown to follow the rules for a couple more weeks.

Once 70 per cent of the state's population above 16 is fully vaccinated, expected around October 26, Melbourne's curfew will ease, the travel limit will be expanded and venues can open outdoors to the fully vaccinated.

But Victorians will have to wait until the 80 per cent double-dose target for significant changes, forecast for November 5, including Melbourne hospitality reopening for seated service and visitors to be allowed in homes.

Mr Andrews said he had no plans to alter Victoria's roadmap out of lockdown, but the state opposition said the premier's plan "doesn't cut it".

- with Australian Associated Press

This story Grim new national COVID-19 milestone as Victoria records 1838 cases first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.