Restrictions have tightened in parts of regional Victoria to contain the spread of coronavirus as the state’s death toll continues to rise.
A man aged in his 50s from the town of Portland in the state’s west is the latest victim of the virus. He died on Thursday but his death will be added to Friday’s toll.
“We pass on our condolences to his family and friends,” the Department of Health said in a statement.
Victoria recorded 723 new cases of coronavirus and 13 deaths on Thursday – both national records.
Ten of the deaths were linked to aged care facilities, with some 913 active cases linked to the sector.
More outbreaks have also emerged in regional Victoria where there are now 255 active cases, with 159 in six areas around Geelong.
From Friday, residents of Greater Geelong, Colac Otway, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains and the Borough of Queenscliffe are banned from having visitors in their homes to help contain the spread.
“We have low numbers in regional Victoria, and we want to jealously guard that,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to stay open in those areas, as will the rest of regional Victoria.
From Monday, masks or face coverings will also be mandatory across the state.
Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, north of the city, are midway through a six-week lockdown.
Professor Raina MacIntyre, the head of the biosecurity program at the University of NSW’s Kirby Institute, said it was time to consider a “fuller lockdown” for Victoria.
“If cases continue to grow, the human resources capacity for case finding and contact tracing may be exceeded,” she said.
“If we cannot identify every case and quarantine every contact, the epidemic may spiral out of control.”
The premier said things could change in three weeks.
“What I am saying to you is we will make announcements at the appropriate time when we have as much data as we possibly can,” he said.