GREATER Bendigo recorded another 78 COVID-19 over the course of Saturday experts begin describing the virus as endemic, not an epidemic.
The gradual downgrade in language does not mean it might a COVID-19 pandemic will not return, but does suggest new waves of infection can be managed more sustainably, Deakin University expert Catherine Bennett said.
"Some countries [are] now easing back. They might need to dial those up again going ahead. But I think the days of full border closure or widespread interventions are gone," she said.
Meanwhile, total case numbers in Greater Bendigo have fallen from 857 on Monday to 753 on Saturday.
Of the most recently discovered cases, 22 were found in Bendigo's 3550 postcode and 13 in Eaglehawk's 3556 zone.
Another 14 were found in Kangaroo Flat's 3555 postcode and 16 in the regional 3551 area.
Two were found in the Heathcote area.
Elsewhere in the region, Castlemaine's Mount Alexander Shire recorded another 10 cases, Kyneton's Macedon Ranges Shire 28 and Maryborough's Central Goldfields Shire 15.
Echuca's Campaspe Shire notched up another 39 COVID cases, Loddon three, Gannawarra five and Buloke two.
VICTORIA has recorded another 4867 new COVID-19 cases on in the last 24 hours as questions rise about the future of Canberra's anti-vax protest movement.
A total of 358 people spent time in hospital with the virus, 51 of whom were in intensive care and 12 on ventilators.
The state also recorded another nine deaths.
Of the tests processed, 3141 of which were rapid antigen tests and 1726 were laboratory PCR tests.
Another 11,413 people received a vaccine dose at state-run facilities.
It comes as questions rise about the next steps for the protesters who have spent weeks gathering in Canberra.
The movement appears to be splintering and experts are wondering whether it will hold together, and how extreme its tactics will become.
Australian National University researcher Simon Copland believes the protesters will "try again".
Some simply had nowhere else to go after burning bridges with friends and family at home, he said.
"[The camp was] where the sense of community and a sense of connectedness was established. That's why it was the breakdown of the camp that was so distressing for many."
- With the Canberra Times
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