Another 23 deaths of people with the virus have been recorded today.
The number of Victorians hospitalized with the virus topped 1,000 overnight, with 1,054 cases now hospitalized, up from 976 yesterday.
Of these, 115 are in intensive care, 30 of which require ventilation.
There are a total of 227,105 known active cases of the virus in the state.
When asked if today’s COVID-19 case count reflects infections in the community, Victoria’s COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar said the state is “far from seeing any sort of trend stable” with daily case counts.
Rent relief for businesses
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford, has announced an extension to the state government’s Commercial Rental Assistance Scheme
It will be extended until March 15 to provide additional financial relief and security to thousands of small businesses with annual sales of $10 million or less who have suffered a drop in sales of at least 30% due to COVID-19.
Landlords will be required to provide continued proportional rent relief based on a reduction in turnover, while the freezing of rent increases and the moratorium on evictions will continue.
Ms Pulford further urged Victorians to continue supporting small businesses.
To cope with the growing number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Victoria, Acting Health Minister James Merlino announced yesterday that two Melbourne quarantine hotels would be converted into medihotels.
Merlino said COVID-19 patients who needed less complex care would be transported from hospitals to medihotels.
“All patients will be medically assessed by the hospital prior to transfer,” he said.
The first patients will be transferred to medihotels from Monday.
The medihotels will have the capacity to provide care for over 300 patients at a time in partnership with Northern Health and Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The Pullman Melbourne on Swanston Street and the Mantra Epping will be used as medihotels.