Victoria has recorded an alarming new high, with 723 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the past 24 hours.
While most of the new cases were in metropolitan Melbourne, a significant jump in regional communities has seen face masks become mandatory for all Victorians.
From midnight on Sunday August 2, all Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave the house - no matter where they live.
Premier Daniel Andrews said "this was an appropriate next step."
"I understand this will a big step for some. But by covering your face, you're protecting your community, and protecting those extra freedoms your community enjoys," he said.
"By covering your face, you're keeping local businesses open, and keeping local people in work.
"We have low numbers in Victoria, jealously low. We want to protect that."
There are now 5385 active cases in the state. Of those cases, 4516 are within metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, while 253 are in regional Victoria.
Mr Andrews said 159 of those regional cases were linked to the "Geelong corridor".
As a result, from midnight tonight, people in the Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains, and the Borough of Queenscliffe local government areas will no longer be able to have visitors at their home.
Sadly, there were a further 13 deaths in the past 24 hours: three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s and two men in their 90s.
Ten of those news deaths are expected to be linked to the aged care sector, but that is yet to be confirmed.
The total death toll since the pandemic began is now 105.
The worst previous day for deaths was Sunday, when 10 people were confirmed to have died from the virus.
Today's record tally of new cases swamps the previous daily high of 532 on Monday.
913 active cases are linked to the aged care sector.
312 people are in hospital, with 34 in intensive care.
The worrying high drowns out two days of positive signs, after 295 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday and 384 on Tuesday.
There are still seven active cases in Horsham, though the total number of cases - including recovered cases - has increased to 11. On Tuesday, it dropped from 11 to 10.
There is one active case each in Ararat, Northern Grampians and West Wimmera.
Yesterday was the first time Ararat had recorded a new active case since March 31.
Updated figures are expected from DHHS this afternoon.
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