The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

COVID-19: the latest

12:05 p.m.

Ontario is reporting 135 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the provincial total to 993.

There are three new deaths, meaning 18 people have died of the virus in Ontario.

No information is available for any of the new cases, with all of them listed as "pending."

11:50 a.m.

The Manitoba government is offering free mental-health therapy to people suffering from anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy program will be offered to any Manitoban over the age of 15 for up to one year.

The program is being provided by human-resources firm Morneau Shepell, and the province says it will spend an estimated $4.5 million to provide the service.

Premier Brian Pallister says many people are worried about getting sick, losing jobs or being isolated, and the online tool should help.

11:45 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says special considerations will be made for those unable to access federal government services online after Service Canada decided to close its centres this week.

He said the centres were closed because of staff fears of COVID-19.

There have been concerns about seniors, Indigenous people and low-income Canadians who don't have access to computers and the internet being able to apply for support.

11:28 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sidestepped questions about whether the U.S. has decided not to send troops to its border with Canada.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday night that American officials had nixed the plan following fierce push-back from Canadian authorities.

Reiterating the importance of keeping the border undefended, Trudeau said Canadian and American officials continue to have a range of discussions about the border and that the federal government would provide more information when it has it.

11:10 a.m.

Yukon has three confirmed cases of COVID-19, but health officials in the territory are warning that some Whitehorse residents may have been exposed at two local businesses.

A statement from Yukon's Health and Social Services Ministry says anyone who was at Elias Dental on March 9, 13 or 16 or a Bethany Church gathering on March 8 or 15, may have been exposed.

The statement says two people have tested positive after one visited the church event and the other was at the dental office, and both are recovering at home with "no ongoing risk to the community."

Anyone who visited the church or the dental office on the listed dates is asked to monitor for fever, cough or difficulty breathing over the next 14 days, and to self-isolate and call 8-1-1 if symptoms develop.

8:50 a.m.

A male in southern New Brunswick is facing an assault charge for allegedly coughing in someone's face.

Police say they were called Thursday morning to a home on Hampton Road in Rothesay where the occupants complained that two other people had failed to isolate themselves after returning home from travelling abroad.

The Kennebecasis Regional Police Force says one male was arrested for uttering threats and assault for "purposely coughing in someone's face while feeling ill."

Under the province's emergency rules for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone who returns to the province from international travel must isolate themselves from others for 14 days.

8:40 a.m.

Hamilton police say they've charged a teenage fast-food employee after she allegedly faked a doctor's note saying she had COVID-19.

Police say the 18-year-old woman worked at a McDonald's, which was immediately forced to close on Monday and send all its employees home to self-isolate.

Investigators say the restaurant was closed for several days and sanitized by a professional cleaning team.

She's facing multiple charges including mischief over $5000, fraud over $5000 and making and using a forged document.

12:45 a.m.

The Victoria Police Department's patrol officers paid tribute to hospital staff with a 15-car salute Thursday.

A news release says officers began their night shift by visiting the Royal Jubilee Hospital to acknowledge the health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A full watch of patrol officers circled the Royal Jubilee Hospital in their police cars with their lights activated around 7 p.m.

The officers got out of their vehicles outside the emergency room bay and took a moment to clap and celebrate the work of hospital staff and health care workers.

Chief Del Manak says as first responders, they recognize their "incredible" work during the crisis.

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