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Victoria reports 19 COVID deaths, 827 new cases

Victoria has recorded its second worst daily COVID-19 toll this year, with another 19 people losing their lives – the majority of whom were not vaccinated.

It is the most fatalities reported in a day since October 28, when there were 25 deaths, and takes the state’s toll from the pandemic to 1299.

Victoria’s new cases dipped back below 1000 for the first time in four days after posting a further 827 infections.

There are now 303 patients in hospital and intensive care patients continue to reduce in number.

“It’s encouraging that ICU numbers have dropped below 100 and we push on to 90 per cent double dose for 12+,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton tweeted on Tuesday.

“But the 19 lives lost are a real tragedy. There are legitimate reasons why a few individuals can’t be vaccinated, but 17 of 19 had no vaccines recorded. Entirely preventable.”

The state continues to sit within 89 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over fully vaccinated, after the government eased a raft of restrictions on Friday expecting to reach the 90 per cent target at the weekend.

It comes as long-term modelling shows the working-from-home revolution is likely to change how Victorians live.

Based on a third of workers working from home two to three days a week by 2036, the Infrastructure Victoria report found Melbourne’s population will become more spread out throughout the city and regional cities including Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.

The change hinges on people increasingly factoring in a lower commute time-cost and seeking a tree or sea change.

Infrastructure Victoria acting chief executive Jonathan Spear said people are more willing to tolerate longer commutes if only venturing to the office a few days a week.

“But access to major job precincts remains a factor in people’s housing choices, which means these dispersion effects occur in the immediate vicinity of Melbourne and big regional cities, but do not extend to other regional areas further away,” he said.

The report also suggests working from home may not reduce Melbourne’s CBD to a ghost town, with the modelling projecting flexible arrangements tend to accelerate jobs growth in inner Melbourne.

The state opposition on Tuesday announced if it won government, it would build a dedicated infectious disease response centre as part of a $400 million package, with an advisory panel to guide its location.

In May this year the Andrews government announced it would build a new Australian Institute of Infectious Disease at the Parkville biomedical precinct in conjunction with the University of Melbourne and other partners.

VICTORIA’S COVID-19 DAILY NUMBERS

* Active cases: 9420

* Actively infectious ICU patients: 44

* Cleared ICU patients: 53

* Patients on a ventilator: 23

* Tests processed: 48,427

* Vaccine doses at state hubs: 5464

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