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6:30 a.m. – Nearly half of Canadians know someone who has been infected with COVID-19, poll suggests

Around half of Canada personally knows someone who has been infected with COVID-19, a new poll suggests, as the past year has seen the novel coronavirus go from being a distant concern to an ongoing domestic crisis.

The January web survey, conducted by Leger in partnership with the non-profit Association for Canadian Studies, found 50 per cent of those polled knew a friend, family member, co-worker or otherwise who had contracted COVID-19.

That number is up from 25 per cent in May, when daily case numbers were about a fifth of what they have been recently.

The ACS/Leger survey found people were most likely to have known a friend who was infected, at 47 per cent, which was unchanged from May. Friends was followed by a family member, at 39 per cent, up nine percentage points from May, and then co-worker at 19 per cent, which was up five percentage points.

6:30 a.m. – A plan of last resort: Choosing who lives and dies if ICUs turn into virus war zones

It’s not quite drawing names from a hat.

But if COVID-19 pushes hospitals to crisis levels, Ontario hospitals have been instructed that, when faced with tie-breaking situations — one empty bed in the ICU, and two, four or more critically sick people with more or less equal chances of surviving competing for it — random selection should be applied.

Each person would be assigned a number. The administrator on call would enter the numbers in a random number generator like random.org, and then click the “generate” button.

“Randomization is efficient when decisions need to be made rapidly,” reads a critical care rationing plan prepared for Ontario hospitals designed to help doctors decide who should get access to beds, intensive care or ventilators in the event of a catastrophic COVID-19 surge. Randomization avoids power struggles between doctors, the document continues. It eliminates explicit or unconscious bias and, critically, reduces the moral and psychological burden of deciding whom, ultimately, wins the bed. Who gets a chance at living.

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Sunday, 7 p.m. – 35 additional flights added to B.C. exposure list

35 more flights have been added to B.C.’s public exposures list (11 international and 24 domestic.)

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said Sunday it had found two more flights carrying confirmed COVID-19 passengers.

Those include:

• Four flights from Mexico City, two from Amsterdam, one from Delhi, one from Frankfurt and the rest from the U.S.

• Four domestic flights were carrying passengers from Vancouver, while the rest were inbound. They include eight flights from Toronto, two from Kelowna, six from Alberta, three from Montreal and one from Bella Coola.

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