A man in his 50s has died in Victoria, taking Australia’s highest daily death total to 14.
The man died in Portland in regional Victoria.
The state on Thursday also broke its own record for new cases, with 723 recorded across the state.
The national death toll is now 190.
Face masks will be mandatory across Victoria from Sunday and people across six coastal and regional council areas will be banned from visiting each other’s houses.
Aged care continues to be Victoria’s disaster hotspot, with up to 10 of the 14 latest victims linked to nursing homes.
The other fatalities are three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, and two men in their 90s.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned private aged care providers about not using protective personal equipment correctly.
‘Failure to comply with those requirements of using PPE will lead to marking down on people’s accreditation,’ he said.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is meeting to determine further advice to combat the surging Victorian infections.
‘We can’t rule out further restrictions or limitations to stem this outbreak,’ Mr Morrison said.
But he doesn’t expect other states to ramp up anti-virus measures, noting NSW has been able to track the source of new cases.
The prime minister said the increase in deaths was the most concerning issue.
‘We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there is some golden immunity that Australian has in relation to this virus.’
Mr Morrison said about 50 cases a day have no known source.
‘That is the primary cause for concern,’ he said.
The first of five Australian Medical Assistance Teams, usually tasked with disaster relief in critical health situations, has arrived in Melbourne.
There are more than 1400 Defence Force personnel already on the ground in the state.
NSW recorded 18 new cases, with just two coming from returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Queensland is bracing for an outbreak of community transmission after two teenagers with coronavirus dodged quarantine.
A major contact tracing investigation has been launched after the 19-year-olds roamed free before testing positive for the disease.
Mr Morrison said all state premiers should release the health advice behind border closures, with Queensland banning Sydneysiders and WA maintaining a hard border to all other states and territories.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews indicated the leap, was in part, linked to a surge in cases in aged care facilities.
At one of the worst-hit facilities, Epping Gardens, an ambulance was seen Wednesday taking away the body of one of the deceased residents.
Health workers rolled other masked residents on stretchers to waiting ambulances for transfer to hospital.
The rest of the country remained on high alert as three new cases were reported in Queensland and several schools in Sydney were shuttered overnight amid growing fears that the country’s largest city may also be tipping toward an uncontrollable outbreak.
New South Wales reported 18 new cases, roughly in line with previous days.
Australia has been one of the most successful countries in containing the pandemic, with most states and territories reporting few or no new cases in recent weeks.
But Melbourne has had thousands of new infections since mid-June, an outbreak initially blamed on security bungles at hotels where returning international travellers were under mandatory quarantine.
The government has now extended some of Melbourne’s lockdown measures to surrounding cities and deployed disaster-relief teams to elderly care homes in the city.
Those teams — which usually tackle earthquakes and other disasters overseas — include doctors, nurses, paramedics and logistics experts.
Australia has recorded over 16,000 COVID-19 cases and 189 deaths, in a population of 25 million.