SASKATOON -- 6:40 p.m - Nearly 200 Saskatchewan doctors want businesses to either close or transform in ways that prevent person-to-person interaction.

"This will be a painful but necessary way to prevent community transmission of COVID-19. The downstream impact of early action by our business community will save lives and give our healthcare system a fighting chance," says an open letter signed by 197 doctors, most from Saskatoon.

6:03 p.m. - The Lighthouse in Saskatoon says they are extremely strapped and in great need of help. They’re looking for healthy volunteers under the age of 65 who haven’t travelled, face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and funding.

They also say they’re concerned about the extra number of people that will need support once school closures become official on Thursday and more families need assistance.

5:05 p.m. - Local entrepreneurs, out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are awaiting the federal government’s new financial support program.

Murray Bryck, a hairdresser at Shear Excellence, is out of work. His salon, Shear Excellence, has closed for at least two weeks.

“For a self-employed hairdresser, it’s a big deal to not be working,” he told CTV News

4:15 p.m. - As the province grapples with the spread of COVID-19, 16 presumptive or confirmed cases as of Wednesday afternoon, the City of Saskatoon announced all its facilities will be off-limits to the public, including City Hall. 

"While we are closed to the public, our business operations will continue to provide essential services for our residents as much as possible,” city manager Jeff Jorgenson, said in a news release.

On Tuesday, during a news conference, the city said all essential services will be maintained, including snow clearing, garbage collection and transit service.

3:05 p.m. -  The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has moved to limit non-urgent medical care to free up staff and medical supplies to fight the spread of the virus.

Starting March 23, the SHA will limit elective surgeries, procedures and diagnostics while still providing urgent care to patients where required.

2:20 p.m. - The province has announced it's declaring a state of emergency, taking steps such as limiting gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, closing gyms and casinos and deferring Crown utility bill payments.

1:17 p.m. - Saskatchewan has eight new, presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the province, bringing the total to 16. Three of the cases are in Saskatoon; two people in their 20s and a person in their 40s, all who have travelled recently. 

12:20 p.m. - The Saskatoon Blades' season has officially wrapped. The Western Hockey League (WHL) has announced the end of the 2019-20 regular season in response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

"Given the ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19, we deemed it necessary to cancel the remaining games on the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season Schedule," WHL Commissioner Ron Robison said in a news release.

11:51 a.m. - The City of Saskatoon has scheduled a special meeting of City Council for Thursday at noon which will focus on the city's response to COVID-19.

11:15 a.m. - Dozens of retailers at Midtown Plaza are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by closing their doors. 

The mall is also adjusting its hours.

"Considering the recent escalating circumstances surrounding the implications of COVID-19, Midtown will be limiting the hours of operation at the shopping centre," its website reads.

10:44 a.m. - Non-essential public facilities will close Wednesday in Prince Albert.

The Emergency Operations Centre met Tuesday morning to discuss COVID-19 measures throughout the city and decided to close 21 facilities as of 4 p.m. due to the need for caution and low attendance.

That includes the Alfred Jenkins Field House, E.A Rawlinson Centre , Mann Art Gallery, Art Hauser Centre and John M. Cuelenaere Public Library.

9:55 a.m. - The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is asking the province to consider closing liquor stores in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Alcohol creates and increases situations of high risk behaviour and entices groups to gather, which will only contribute to the spread of Covid-19 in the province," the FSIN said in a Twitter post.

"If our province is closing all schools and casinos, it is only logical that this same measure be carried to liquor stores and establishments," the FSIN said.

 9:05 a.m. - The city's school divisions continue preparations for Friday's COVID-19-related closures, which were announced on Monday.

Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) is asking parents to provide up-to-date contact info to help the school division to keep parents informed over the coming days.

Schools will remain open until the end of the day on Thursday, but SPS is encouraging parents to keep students home if possible.

Greater Saskatoon Public Schools (GSPS) says offering supplemental learning for students while they're at home is a priority and work is underway.

"We are preparing for the shift from face-to-face learning to distance learning, either online or some other format for those without internet access," GSPS said on its website.

"Please understand that this requires a fair amount of preparation and support for teachers to make this shift for almost 20,000 students."