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Rupanyup and Harrow tie for COVID Cup

It has been a long and fascinating race for the mock COVID Cup with several regional centres having their moment in the lead as the most vaccinated towns.

But the COVID Cup has finished as sensationally as it started.

With a blanket finish of 26 runners all in with a chance, the photo-finish camera has taken more pictures than the paparazzi holidaying with the Royals. 

But there were two runners completely inseparable. Dunmunkle flyer Rupanyup and the oldest runner in the field Harrow have both crossed the line with every resident fully vaccinated. 

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Harrow has run the entire race in the top three, while Rupanyup made a late charge when the field turned for home.

The next 24 runners, which include big-occasion performers such as Nhill and Stawell, have more than 95 percent of their residents fully vaccinated. 

Midfield runners including Horsham and Ararat are on 95 percent for both doses.

COVID Cup chief stipendiary steward, Grampians Primary Health Unit’s Dr Rob Grenfell, has been impressed with the performances from the large field.

“To have virtually three quarters of the field above 90 percent fully dosed and more than half the field above 95 percent is simply an outstanding effort by our communities,” he said.

“The people of the Wimmera have put their arms out to gain the greatest protection they can from the virus and the percentages are remarkable. This means that when the virus comes to town, and it is coming, it meets an immune population and it is easily brought under control.

“The recent outbreak in Nhill demonstrated the power of the vaccines with none of the infected requiring a stay in the hospital.”

Dr Grenfell said for Rupanyup and Harrow to be fully vaccinated was a credit to their close-knit communities.

“As with all races there will be a great degree of discussion, but all the towns at 95 percent are winners too – and the population data is always a little rubbery,” he said.

“The virus is in our community and vaccinated people don’t get that sick – but there’s a high chance the unvaccinated will. 

“Omicron is now spreading across the globe and is very infectious, but the vaccines have been shown to give some immunity to it.

“As we move into the Christmas period, please stay safe.

“The public health measures should still be followed and please get a test if you have symptoms as this is the only way we can keep the virus under control. 

“Get your second and third doses when due and bring on the vaccines for children five to 11 so school disruptions become a rarity in the new year.”

Dr Grenfell thanked all communities for providing such strong competition throughout the race.

“I hope we never have to organise a second race,” he said.

The Covid Cup vaccination figures, based on people aged 15 and older and on postcodes, have aligned with figures for Ararat, Horsham, Northern Grampians Yarriambiack, West Wimmera, Buloke, Pyrenees and Southern Grampians municipalities. 

All are 95 percent double vaccinated.

The entire December 22, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire December 22, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!