Shock as Victoria records Australia's biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases

Victoria has recorded a shocking 288 new coronavirus cases on Friday, which is the biggest daily increase anywhere in Australia since the pandemic started.

The state's current total is 3,397, with active coronavirus cases skyrocketing past 1,000.

The worst 24-hour period before this was in NSW where 212 new cases were recorded.

Of the 288 new cases, 26 are linked to known outbreaks with the remaining 262 under investigation.

A total of 47 people are in hospital with 12 in intensive care.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the situation is "very concerning".

“Victoria is continuing to ask for help and they will be getting help,” he said after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has advised all Victorians to wear masks where social distancing can not be guaranteed.

“We are requesting all Victorians when out of your home for any of the four permitted reasons to leave and where social distancing cannot be maintained to wear face masks,” he said.

He has confirmed that the instruction is not compulsory.

Residents in eight of the nine commission towers have been eased back to stage three restrictions, but 480 people will remain in hard lockdown after 53 coronavirus cases were linked to that building. 

The Victorian government has also announced today that there will be a $534 million business support package after the second lockdown in the state.

Under the new scheme, $30 million will go towards the city's night-time and hospitality sector while $36 million will be allocated to mental health support for small business owners and traders.

This article originally appeared on Over60.