Victoria records 79 new COVID-19 infections, more regional exposure sites

Victoria has recorded 79 new coronavirus cases today, in a fresh blow to the state's hopes of lockdown ending next week.

Of today's locally acquired cases, 53 are linked to known outbreaks and 26 are under investigation.

A total of 50,535 people came forward for testing in the past 24 hours.

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The spread of the virus into regional Victoria is now causing problems for supply chains, with the community of Shepparton running out of food.

Additional ADF troops have arrived in the town to provide support as thousands of residents remain in isolation.

More food supplies are being shipped in from Melbourne, while fully vaccinated volunteers have been handing out food packages.

The new cases come as the number of exposure sites across the state rose again to 868, with new Tier Two sites in the regional towns of Kyabram and Echuca.

Yesterday Premier Daniel Andrews pointed the finger of blame at young people, claiming those with no symptoms were waiting too long to get tested – sometimes as a long as a week.

There are also concerns that some are no longer isolating after getting the swab.

The state recorded 80 new cases yesterday, Victoria's highest in 11 months.

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Meanwhile, COVID-19 exposed hospital workers will be able to avoid 14 days isolation and continue to working to prevent a staff shortage.

The system will allow fully vaccinated workers to avoid quarantine or return to work after five days if they pass daily PCR tests and wear additional protective equipment.

It comes as more than 500 staff were forced into quarantine due to a string of clusters in Melbourne's hospitals.

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