NSW Health just recorded its officially worst day in this entire pandemic but there is some good news today: almost 50 percent of the state’s 16+ population has received their first dose.

NSW recorded 319 local cases since 8pm last night, which follows yesterday’s previous state record of  291 cases. Of these locally acquired cases, 125 are linked to a known case or cluster—108 are household contacts and 17 are close contacts. The source of infection for 194 cases is under investigation.

138 were in isolation throughout their infectious period and 32 were in isolation for part of their infectious period. 51 cases were infectious in the community, and the isolation status of 98 cases remains under investigation.

Of today’s 319 locally acquired cases,  112 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District, 98 are from Western Sydney, 57 are from Sydney, 23 are from Nepean Blue Mountains, 20 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, seven are from Northern Sydney, and two are from Hunter New England. Four new cases, all of which are young people, have been linked to the Newcastle area.

Speaking at today’s daily press conference, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard delayed announcing the total numbers this morning until later in the event, focusing on the positives instead.

Namely, the fact that almost 50% of the state’s population over 16 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with almost 22% fully vaccinated. According to Hazzard, we’re seeing a five percent increase each week. Could be better but still very good news.

NSW Health administered 26,152 COVID-19 vaccines in the 24 hours since 8pm last night, bringing the total number of people who have received a vaccination to 4,316,065.

There are currently 345 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 56 people in intensive care, 23 of whom require ventilation. There were 108,449 COVID-19 tests recorded since 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 109,547.

Unfortunately, Minister Hazzard said that health experts warned that higher numbers were still to come.

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.