Arrests, fines at Vic anti-vax protests
Three people have been arrested and dozens fined after small numbers of protesters held anti-vaccination rallies in Melbourne.
Victoria on Saturday reported another record daily case number, with 1965 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections.
Another five deaths were reported, including two from Moreland, a woman in her 90s and man in his 70s; a Banyule man in his 60s; a Hobsons Bay man in his 60s; and a Hume man in his 50s.
There are 578 Victorians in hospital with COVID-19, of whom 117 are in ICU and 83 on ventilators.
Protests were organised by anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination groups in parts of the Victorian capital city on Saturday, including at Campbellfield Plaza and in Glen Waverley.
Police said three people were arrested "for various offences" and 27 fines were issued for people breaching public health directions.
"Victoria Police will continue to have a highly visible presence to maintain public safety, and to ensure any protest activity that breaches the CHO directions does not impact on the broader community's right to go about their daily lives," a police spokeswoman said.
Earlier on Saturday, Health Department deputy secretary Kate Matson said thousands of secondary close contacts would be released from quarantine at the weekend as health teams struggle to manage escalating virus infections.
She said secondary contacts would no longer be "actively managed" by public health teams, and 16,000 people across the state would receive a text message releasing them from quarantine.
"This just recognises the changing risk and the changing environment that we're in," she told reporters.
"We are no longer chasing COVID-zero in Victoria, and we have 17,000 active cases in Victoria."
While secondary close contacts will no longer have to isolate, primary close contacts will be asked to isolate away from the rest of their household.
Secondary contacts are still encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 if they show any symptoms.
Meanwhile, a Virgin Australia flight attendant has tested positive after routine surveillance testing by the airline.
The crew member worked on six flights while infectious from October 4 to 6, including return trips from Melbourne to Adelaide, Sydney and Newcastle.
Passengers on affected flights to be contacted by their state health bodies.
"Fellow crew members on those flights have been deemed close contacts. Most do live in Melbourne and will be contacted by the department," Ms Matson said.
A virus outbreak in Mildura has grown to 37 active infections after the regional border town was plunged into a seven-day lockdown on Friday night.
Ms Matson said the next seven days would be crucial for the region.
Mildura will be under the same stay-at-home rules as Melbourne, excluding the curfew, with a 15-kilometre travel limit and a ban on visitors at people's homes.
Health authorities say 41,177 vaccine doses were administered across the state on Friday, as well as 73,000 virus tests.
Eighty-five per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have now received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 57 per cent fully vaccinated.
© AAP 2021