VICTORIA recorded 76 new COVD-19 cases and 11 deaths on Wednesday, taking the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 694.
The deaths include one female in her 60s, three females and two males in their 80s and three females and two males in their 90s.
Nine of those deaths were linked to aged care outbreaks.
On Wednesday there were 196 Victorians in hospital, 20 in intensive care and 12 on ventilators.
Premier, Daniel Andrews said there were seven cases recorded in regional Victoria overnight Tuesday.
“In general terms regional cases number remain very low and we are very grateful to each and every member of regional Victorian communities who are playing their part to keep those numbers low so we can meet those trigger points and be able to not simply take one step, but potentially two steps to open regional Victoria up,” he said.
Colac had 30 active cases, an increase of five, and Greater Geelong had 15 active cases, an increase of one.
Ballarat had no active cases.
Mr Andrews said the “overall picture in regional Victoria is very encouraging”.
“When you think about the picture only a few weeks ago, more than 500 active cases across regional Victoria,” he said.
“We are now down to only 82 active cases and that trend is certainly with us and moves us closer day by day to ease restrictions in regional Victoria in a safe and steady way.”
Mr Andrews said the 14-day rolling average for metropolitan Melbourne was 74.5 cases per day, with regional Victoria’s rolling average five.
Regional Victoria will move to the third step when it records a daily case average below five and zero mystery cases over a 14-day period.
Mr Andrews said testing numbers also doubled on Tuesday, with 16,686 being processed.
“Those numbers are obviously much higher than (Tuesday’s) number and we will make the plea all Victorians regardless of how mild your symptoms are, as soon as those symptoms begin please come forward and get tested, it makes a massive difference,” he said.