YESTERDAY'S Greater Sydney tally of 239 new coronavirus caseswas not the sort of number the people of NSW wanted to hear.
A record total, higher than the 213 cases recorded on March 27 last year at the peak of the first wave of COVID-19. With no sign of improvement, it is increasingly evident that Premier Gladys Berejiklian's aversion to locking down "early and hard", Victorian style, has cost the state dearly.
Despite this, Ms Berejiklian has kept effective control of the political debate by putting the blame back on Canberra for the various deficiencies in the vaccine rollout.
Geography, too, has been on the premier's side.
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Yes, the case numbers are still going the wrong way, but they are not spreading as far and wide as they might have.
Two weeks after a Thornton service station was listed as a "venue of concern" - and one in Wallsend became an exposure site - it appears the region may have dodged any infection from these potential incursions.
The loss of these attractions comes on top of the day-to-day damage being done to a wide range of businesses.
The speed with which the national economy appeared to rebound earlier this year may have hardened the Morrison government's determination to avoid a second round of JobKeeper, before it relented this week and returned income support for those in lockdown to the level of the original scheme.
Meanwhile, the 60-odd members of the 60-strong Australian track and field team in Tokyo were forced into isolation yesterday after a positive COVID result from a United States pole-vaulter.
Many feared the Olympics would become a coronavirus disaster, and while the official tally stood at 193 positive tests yesterday, organisers say that's against a total of more than 39,200 accredited personnel.
That's a positive rate, so far, of 0.49 per cent, or less than one in 200.
With COVID, testing of Olympics athletes has taken on a whole new meaning.
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