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Victoria has seen yet another surge in COVID-19 transmissions today, recording a further 5919 new local cases overnight, as officials express concern over New Year’s Eve parties.

Seven more people died with the virus, and 428 are in hospital. The figures are up slightly from yesterday, with 5137 recorded.

There are currently 54 cases being treated in ICUs across the state, 21 of whom require ventilation.

As 2021 comes to an end, health authorities have warned residents across the state to practice caution tonight, and avoid large gatherings and enclosed spaces where social distancing can’t be monitored.

A few weeks later, Melbourne could finally "get on the beers" with it own Freedom Day on October 22.
Venues are sold out across Melbourne. (Paul Jeffers)
St Kilda Beach
Authorities are concerned over high temperatures across parts of Victoria today as people head out to celebrate NYE. (Diego Fedele/Getty)

Venues are sold-out across the city, with Acting Premier James Merlino warning crowds need to “take their own risks” and make their own decisions tonight.

National Cabinet has agreed a close-contact is someone who lives with or has spent at least four hours with a positive case.

Close-contacts and positive cases only need to spend seven days in quarantine if you live in NSW, Victoria the ACT, South Australia and Queensland.

PCR tests will now be reserved for those who have symptoms in order to take pressure off testing lines.

Outdoor testing clinics are expected to be quieter today, however a severe heat warning remains in place for outdoor facilities with temperatures expected to reach 38C today.

Clinics were closed yesterday for health and safety reasons in the heat and with temperatures expected to stay around 28C into the evening – authorities are reminding people to be safe and maintain social distancing while celebrating New Year’s.

A sign on display advises the public to the requirements of face masks.

How Australia faced the emergence of the Omicron variant

Source: 9News

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