COVID-19 Update: Hinshaw stresses safety of AstraZeneca vaccine | 696 new cases, zero deaths | Variant cases rising

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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My COVID Story: How have you been impacted by coronavirus?

Postmedia is looking to speak with people who may have been impacted by COVID-19 here in Alberta.  Have you undergone a travel-related quarantine? Have you received your vaccine, and if so did you feel any side effects? Have you changed your life for the better because of the pandemic? Send us an email at reply@calgaryherald.com to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form.

Read our ongoing coverage of personal stories arising from the pandemic.


Pharmacies in and around Calgary offering COVID-19 vaccine

This map shows 53 pharmacies in Calgary, Chestermere and Airdrie offering the COVID-19 vaccine. More locations will be added in the coming days, according to the provincial government. Appointments are still required and can be booked by contacting the participating pharmacies. Details on eligibility and booking can be found here.


Numbers reported by Alberta Health on Friday, March 19.
Numbers reported by Alberta Health on Friday, March 19.

Hinshaw says AstraZeneca vaccine not linked to blood clots

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

Alberta’s chief medical officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reminded people that the AstaZeneca vaccine is safe, despite concerns in some European countries.

In a series of tweets, Hinshaw said multiple reviews from health agencies around the world, including in Europe, have found the vaccine is safe.

She said 25 out of more than 20 million people vaccinated have experienced rare blood clots, and health officials are still working to link the vaccine with the reported medical episodes.

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She also noted that Albertans are 500 times more likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than to contract blood clots after vaccination.

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Friday

Alberta logs record 130 COVID-19 variants, 696 new cases

It was a busy Friday on 17th Avenue S.W. as more businesses are open for in-person service.
It was a busy Friday on 17th Avenue S.W. as more businesses are open for in-person service. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Alberta reported another record spike in COVID-19 variant cases Friday as daily case counts reached their highest point since mid-January.

Another 130 cases of the more contagious variants have been detected in Alberta, setting a new single-day high for a second consecutive day.

Of the new variant cases, 129 are the B.1.1.7 strain first found in the United Kingdom, while one is the B.1.351 variant that originated in South Africa.

Alberta has now found 1,318 variant cases. Of those, 698 remain active, representing about 13 per cent of the province’s total active cases, a proportion that has been ticking upward in recent days.

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Friday

Months after identity theft detected, Calgary man fears he’ll be on hook for CERB

Tom Briggs’ identity was stolen last year and a scammer has received a CERB benefit under his name.
Tom Briggs’ identity was stolen last year and a scammer has received a CERB benefit under his name. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Calgarian Tom Briggs said six months ago, federal officials alerted him to a privacy breach used by scammers to apply for federal COVID-19 benefits in his name.

The fraud worked for the person who stole his identity and $4,000 from taxpayers, but the investigation by the Canada Revenue Agency apparently didn’t, said the man who never applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

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Friday

696 new cases, zero additional deaths

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Friday

Contracting COVID-19 ‘woke me up’: Exposing others, losing friendships the harsh reality of the pandemic for one Albertan

Angela Groeneveld poses for a photo at a business in Okotoks. At the beginning of the pandemic Groeneveld didn’t take COVID-19 seriously until she infected 30 other people, including children. Now she’s working with business owners to understand the need to follow public health rules to support their business. Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Angela Groeneveld poses for a photo at a business in Okotoks. At the beginning of the pandemic Groeneveld didn’t take COVID-19 seriously until she infected 30 other people, including children. Now she’s working with business owners to understand the need to follow public health rules to support their business. Thursday, March 4, 2021. Photo by Brendan Miller /Postmedia

Angela Groeneveld dismissed COVID-19 as nothing more than the flu.

The only danger it posed was to the ”weak and the vulnerable” — not someone raised “cowgirl tough,” the rural Albertan believed.

Groeneveld did not fear the virus. Instead, she loathed it, as public health measures devastated local businesses in her community. By last summer, Groeneveld was in full-blown denial.

“I started to think this was a conspiracy. I started to think the politicians were being led by bigger powers,” says Groeneveld, who lives on a ranch outside of Okotoks. “I never really followed the rules. Masks if I had to. I’d do the bare minimum.”

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Friday

One year in, frustration and uncertainty remain for COVID-19 ‘long haulers’

Deanna Almdal poses for a photo outside her SW home. Almdal is a COVID long-hauler who is experiencing symptoms months after catching the virus.
Deanna Almdal poses for a photo outside her SW home. Almdal is a COVID long-hauler who is experiencing symptoms months after catching the virus. Photo by Brendan Miller /Postmedia

Deanna Almdal was between her third and fourth medical appointments of the day.

“It’s my life now,” said the 55-year-old Calgarian.

Though Almdal was infected with COVID-19 more than 13 months ago during a stay in Goa, India, she can only wonder how long the virus will continue to cast its shadow over her.

She’s one of countless thousands of so-called COVID-19 “long haulers,” dogged by a dizzying array of health symptoms long after the disease’s initial onslaught has receded.

Read more.

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