Victoria has recorded 13 new local COVID cases, including one in the regional town of Mildura that was announced yesterday.
All new cases are linked to the current outbreak.
The results were detected among 54,839 tests received on Sunday, and there were 14,758 vaccine doses administered at state-run sites.
The case numbers bolster expectations the current lockdown will be extended beyond Tuesday night, but no official word has been given on a timeline or when any announcement will be made.
Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said she believed it was unlikely that Victoria’s lockdown would end tomorrow night.
She described the transmissibility of the Delta strain of COVID-19 as “incredible”.
“The rapidity of spread does translate unfortunately to a growth each day in exposure sites. That’s exactly what NSW went through,” she said.
“The critical thing for us is, while we’re still at this early stage, having learnt from what happened in Sydney, that we have to really push hard now to find everyone exposed who could be a case.
“That’s the only way to beat the speed of the virus, to be really comprehensive in these early days.”
The number of exposure sites across Victoria has grown to nearly 280, after new venues were added late last night.
South Melbourne Market is undergoing a deep clean after a positive case attended several stores within the market on July 11.
Regional hospital hit by staff shortages
Mildura Base Public Hospital is calling for more staff after 45 hospital staff were furloughed due to potential COVID-19 exposure.
A man aged in his 30s presented to the hospital’s emergency department on Saturday night, and later tested positive to COVID.
The hospital’s CEO, Terry Welch, said some services had been cut back in order to keep the hospital’s emergency department running.
“Unfortunately, we will be doing very little elective surgery this week, we will be doing emergency surgery only and cesareans, obviously,” he said.
Mr Welch said health services in Mildura were bracing for more cases to emerge.
“I think that’s the reality, there’s no question and we have to be well and truly prepared for a higher number of potential cases or confirmed cases and the key to that is get tested.”