An emergency doctor has issued a stark warning to Victorians as the state records its deadliest day of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Dr Sarah Whitelaw told the ABC that the state’s hospitals are likely to reach maximum capacity within a matter of weeks.

Currently, 538 people are in hospital with COVID-19 across the state, including 42 patients in intensive care.

However, it’s not simply the sheer volume of cases that is cause for concern.

Dr Whitelaw told the ABC that the biggest problem is the number of medical staff who are contracting the virus, with 1,000 healthcare workers having tested positive across Victoria so far.

“We’ve all been blindsided by the fact that our problem is the workforce … I think the number of healthcare worker infections is a real concern,” Dr Whitelaw said.

The DHHS says that the state is ready for more cases, pointing to the extra capacity created since January this year.

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However, a spokesperson for DHHS did use the moment to remind everybody of the importance of adhering to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

“Thankfully, we have not needed this extra capacity yet and if we stay home and protect the health system, we won’t need all of this extra capacity and we’ll save lives,” the spokesperson said.