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Another spike expected in Victoria COVID-19 numbers



Victorian health authorities are nervously awaiting today's COVID-19 figures after a sharp spike in cases and illness-related deaths yesterday.

Another 13 deaths were confirmed as the state recorded 5137 new COVID-19 cases, another surge from Wednesday's 3767 cases.

After a national change to the definition of a close contact, another surge is expected this weekend with tens of thousands of Victorians expected to be out celebrating New Year's Eve.

EXPLAINER: What you need to know about close contact, isolation changes

There are sold-out venues across the city, but the Acting Premier warned people 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.

READ MORE: Wait for COVID-19 results as NSW finishes 2021 in Omicron surge

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.

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