Warrnambool is in the midst of a major COVID-19 wave, with both daily and active case numbers growing steadily since early June.
Local active cases hit 350 in recent days, and have more than doubled in the past month, with new daily cases hovering between the 50-70 mark.
The rising numbers have been driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron COVID-19 variants, which are "immune escape" variants that can reinfect people who have previously had COVID-19.
Barwon Health public health unit director Professor Eugene Athan said this ability to reinfect people made the new variants more infectious than previous strains.
"We expect cases to continue increasing and remain in high numbers throughout winter," he said.
Professor Athan said numbers across the south west were not running out of control, but there were some potentially concerning signs.
"We are seeing an increase in cases in school-age groups and people under 30 compared with other age groups," he said.
"There is no evidence to say whether a second case is milder; however, we do know that previous COVID-19 infection is not as effective against reinfection as vaccination."
The Standard asked South West Healthcare for local COVID-19 patient numbers, but did not receive a response.
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