COVID-19 Update: GraceLife Church holds another packed service | Alberta’s AstraZeneca vaccine supply nearing its end

Watch this page throughout the day for updates on COVID-19 in Calgary.

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With news on COVID-19 happening rapidly, we’ve created this page to bring you our latest stories and information on the outbreak in and around Calgary.


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GraceLife Church, charged as entity for COVID-19 violations, still drawing crowds

Hundreds of churchgoers defied Alberta government pandemic health restrictions and flocked to GraceLife Church on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
Hundreds of churchgoers defied Alberta government pandemic health restrictions and flocked to GraceLife Church on Sunday, March 14, 2021. Photo by Larry Wong/Postmedia

Less than a week after it was charged as an entity for breaching COVID-19 public health orders, GraceLife Church held another packed service Sunday morning and authorities did not intervene.

Two RCMP police officers, along with one Alberta Health Services employee, were parked in police cruisers off the church property about 5 km west of the city limits on Hwy 627, prior to the service. They did not enter the church property or engage with churchgoers and left about half an hour after the service began.

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Saturday

Alberta logs record 70 variant cases as AstraZeneca bookings near limit

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Alberta detected a record number of cases of more-contagious variants of COVID-19 Saturday as the province logged its highest case count since January.

The news comes as Alberta’s supply of AstraZeneca shots dwindles amid high vaccine uptake by eligible groups.

There are 70 new cases of variants in Alberta, all the B.1.1.7 strain first discovered in the United Kingdom. It’s the highest single-day jump in variant cases to date. Previously, the province reported 54 variant cases on March 7.

Alberta has now seen 854 cases of variants: 839 of the B.1.1.7 strain, and 15 of the B.1.351 variant that originated in South Africa. Forty-three per cent of those cases are in the Alberta Health Services Edmonton zone, with another 35 per cent in the Calgary zone.

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Saturday

474 new cases and 5 new deaths

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Saturday

AHS vaccine booking portal down temporarily Saturday

Alberta Health Service’s online vaccine booking portal was down early Saturday as eligibility expanded to those born in 1961.

By 10 a.m., AHS was reporting the online system problem was resolved.

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Saturday

Mexico gets shipment of million vaccine doses from China’s Sinovac

A worker performs a quality check in the packaging facility of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, developing an experimental coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a government-organized media tour in Beijing, China, September 24, 2020.
A worker performs a quality check in the packaging facility of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, developing an experimental coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a government-organized media tour in Beijing, China, September 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Peter /Reuters

Mexico received a shipment of a million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd, the foreign ministry said on Twitter on Saturday.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said earlier in the week that Mexico was upping its orders from China to make up for a vaccine shortfall and would request 22 million more doses.

Mexico ordered an additional 10 million doses of Sinovac, in addition to the previously ordered 10 million doses, which are due to arrive between March and May. The new order will get to Mexico between May and July, Ebrard said.

Mexico will also order 12 million vaccine doses made by the state-backed China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) once it has been approved by its health regulator, Ebrard said.

— Reuters

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