COVID-19 | Coronavirus Disease

We are working closely with provincial partners to prepare and respond to the increased likelihood of more COVID-19 infections in Canada.

The health and wellness of our employees and residents is our main priority.

We are working closely with provincial partners to prepare and respond to the increased likelihood of more COVID-19 infections in Canada.

The health and wellness of our employees and residents is our main priority.

  • April 13, 2021 - CAO Update: Medical Notes

    13 Apr 2021

    Colleagues,

    On March 6, 2020, I communicated to the organization that no employees will be required to provide medical notes related to short-term sick leave absences. I am writing today to rescind that direction.

    Effective immediately, Managers/Supervisors have discretion to request a medical note where appropriate and reasonable. Medical notes will not be requested to confirm a positive COVID-19 result or to confirm an employee’s requirement to self-isolate in accordance with provincial regulations.

    The Attendance Support Policy remains suspended, however, all employees continue to have an obligation to work on a regular and consistent basis. Managers and Supervisors will reach out to employees to discuss absenteeism concerns and will also reach out to employees on sick leave to offer support.

    These measures will remain in place until further notice.

    Thank-you for your collaboration, teamwork and all you do to make a difference for our residents.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Jacques Dubé
    Chief Administrative Officer

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  • March 31, 2021 - COVID-19 Update

    31 Mar 2021

    Colleagues,

    Following up on my February message regarding return to work, I am happy to say that things are looking brighter. As the situation around COVID-19 in our province continues to evolve with the encouraging news surrounding Nova Scotia’s enhanced vaccination efforts, we are turning our attention to gradually returning the remainder of our employees to their workplaces.

    As of May 17, staff who are working at home should be in the office at least two days/week. As of July 5, staff should be in the office three to four days a week with a view to full return to offices in early September. Your manager will be speaking to you about this gradual return to work in the coming weeks.

    As always, your safety, and that of our residents, remains our top priority, and any changes to workplace planning and our return to work approach described herein will be made in strict alignment with public health guidelines.

    Public Health is encouraging all Nova Scotians who can, to become vaccinated and HRM supports that direction. That said HRM will not be making the vaccine mandatory as a condition of employment. HRM will continue to follow Public Health guidelines and will educate, encourage and support staff to get vaccinated.

    We must remain diligent in our fight against COVID-19. To learn more about Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 immunization plan, visit: novascotia.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/.

    I’d also encourage you to read the recently updated COVID-19 Employee FAQ for additional information in regards to vaccinations.

    Thank you for your continued commitment to the safe delivery of municipal services.

    I wish you all a very happy, safe and relaxing Easter long weekend.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068

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  • February 25, 2021 - COVID-19 Update

    25 Feb 2021

    Colleagues,

    As we approach the one-year mark since the start of the pandemic, I wanted to provide another update regarding our return to work efforts at the municipality.

    Although we are fortunate that the COVID-19 numbers in our region remain low, the situations in our neighbouring provinces, and across the country, have given us reason to pause on making further changes. Your safety, and that of our residents, remains our top priority.

    With that, we will continue with our current scheduled, reduced capacity return-to-work model until at least September 2021, unless otherwise directed by public health.

    The roll out of vaccines has been slower than hoped, and the introduction of variant COVID-19 strains reminds us that we must remain diligent. Regardless of your work location (onsite, at home, or hybrid) – it’s critical that we work together to follow the health and safety measures in place to help reduce the spread of the virus.

    Some important reminders:

    • Virtual meetings must continue to be utilized whenever possible and non-essential in-person training will continue to occur online for the time being.
    • Masks must be worn in meetings of more than 10 people while still maintaining physical distancing.
    • Physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) must be adhered to.
    • Meetings/training can be held, if necessary, in rooms with up to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 100 people.
    • Masks are mandatory in public spaces or communal spaces.
    • Exemptions still exist for many municipal services including Police, Fire and Transit as outlined in the provincial order.

    I know that the pandemic continues to wear on us all. If you have any questions about this update, please reach out to your manager/supervisor to discuss.

    Thank you for your commitment to the safe delivery of municipal services.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068

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  • COVID-19 Prevention Methods (updated March 22, 2021)

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    The health and safety of ourselves, our colleagues and the communities we serve is a shared responsibility. Below are reminders to support these efforts:


    COVID-19 RESOURCES

    For more information about your worksite’s COVID-19 prevention methods, please refer to the Safety Plan found in the Hazard Alerts & Orders section of your Health & Safety Communication Board, or, contact your manager/supervisor.

    POTENTIAL EXPOSURE LOCATIONS, SYMPTOMS AND TESTING INFORMATION


    MASKS

    Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces:

    • Employees must wear a mask in meetings of more than 10 people while still maintaining physical distancing of two-metres. *Virtual meetings must continue to be utilized whenever possible and non-essential in-person training will continue to occur online for the time being
    • Worksite reception areas, washrooms and hallways are all deemed public places and employees must wear a mask while in these spaces.
    • Visit the Nova Scotia Health & Wellness webpage for more information on masks.

    EMPLOYEE TRAINING


    CLEANING GUIDELINES


    SIGNAGE

    • Follow the COVID-19 signage that is posted throughout your worksite. This directional, general instruction and public health signage aims to create safe spaces by promoting proper physical distancing, cleaning and hygiene practices.

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  • January 15, 2021 - COVID-19 Update

    15 Jan 2021

    Colleagues,

    Since my January 5 message, Nova Scotia has been experiencing low case numbers of COVID-19. Considering this, beginning January 25, employees who were mandated to work from home, based on my email directive of November 23, 2020, can return to worksites in the same scheduled, reduced capacity manner as was in effect prior to the directive being issued.

    This decision aligns with Public Health directives and reflects the varied individual and operational needs. More information on what this means for you will be shared at the Business Unit level over the coming days.

    I understand that the continued changes in response to the pandemic are difficult. I want to assure you that the safety and wellbeing of all our employees remains my priority. Whether you have remained onsite throughout the pandemic, will begin returning in a modified capacity, or will continue to work from home – thank you.

    It should be noted that virtual meetings must continue to be utilized whenever possible and non-essential in-person training will continue to occur online for the time being.

    As a region, we can be proud of how we are handling the second wave. However, we know that with COVID-19, things can change in an instant. We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt our approaches with caution and at the direction of Public Health to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of employees and residents.

    Thank you for your ongoing efforts as we continue to navigate these next phases of the pandemic.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068

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  • January 8, 2021 - Clarification

    11 Jan 2021

    Colleagues,

    I understand that there are some questions arising from my message earlier today regarding the provincial changes as they pertain to New Brunswick (NB). The municipality is following Public Health directives as we have since the start of the pandemic. To clarify, below is a direct excerpt from the provincial press release issued today regarding self-isolation:

    “However, people who arrived from New Brunswick or had visitors from that province in the past 14 days should get tested immediately and consider a second test five to seven days later. People who were in New Brunswick should self-isolate while waiting for the first test result. People can book a test at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en .”

    The Province has stated that you should self-isolate if you have been to NB, not if you have had visitors from NB. Testing is recommended in either scenario.

    Thank you for asking for the clarification. Please be safe and well.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Jacques Dubé
    Chief Administrative Officer

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  • January 8, 2021 - COVID-19 Update

    08 Jan 2021

    Good afternoon colleagues,

    Today the Province announced that effective January 9 at 8 a.m. anyone travelling into Nova Scotia from New Brunswick will have to self-isolate for 14 days, unless they are exempt from the order.

    As outlined by the Province, people who arrived from New Brunswick or had visitors from that province in the past 14 days should get tested immediately and consider a second test five to seven days later. They should self-isolate while waiting for the first test result. People can book a test at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/en

    Please take a moment to read the full press release.

    If you have any questions regarding how this impacts you, please speak with your manager.

    Thank you for doing your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068

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  • Human Resources is here for you

    07 Jan 2021
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    Icon that reads HR in communication bubble icons

    Hello colleagues,

    During these challenging times, we want to ensure you and your families have the support you need, so we are sharing a reminder about the resources and supports Human Resources offers.

    For HR inquiries, we’re here Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact us directly at MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services and we can connect you with the appropriate supports and resources.

    Remember, if you or a direct family member are experiencing increased worry or anxiety, you can contact your respective Employee and Family Assistance Program 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Lots of helpful information is available in the recently updated COVID-19 Resources for Employees & Leaders (a PDF file will auto-download to your downloads folder) from resources on mental and physical health to caregiving during the pandemic.

    We’re also continually evolving our virtual training offerings to best serve you.

    Human Resources is here for you, so please access our resources and supports, and reach out to us when needed.

    Take care,

    Caroline

    Caroline Blair-Smith
    Executive Director, Human Resources

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  • Keeping each other safe and well in 2021

    07 Jan 2021

    Colleagues,

    The new year often incites reflection, optimism and renewal. And this year, these sentiments ring even more true.

    The social, health, environmental and economic crises we faced, and that will continue to challenge us all, will hopefully begin to diminish over the coming year.

    We must all remain positive and optimistic for the future and steadfast in our resolve to do our part, support each other and help the vulnerable populations most affected. I am so thankful for the generosity of our team who supported not only our United Way campaign and the Halifax Transit Turkey drive, but also many important charitable causes throughout our region.

    Nova Scotia winters can sometimes feel long, even at the best of times. And with these challenging days ahead, it will be even more important to be kind to ourselves and others, and to prioritize our collective mental health and wellness. There will always be highs and lows, but it is ever important to be supportive of each other and thankful for what we have.

    There are many resources available on the Employee Hub to help us through these uncertain times. And of course, our Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to those who may need to access services and resources. Employees can also reach out to their manager/supervisor if they need to discuss supports available, or email MyHR@halifax.ca or phone 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services.

    I remind everyone that until further notice employees who can work from home are still being directed to do so. All others are to report to their usual work location and continue to follow the health and safety measures in place. I will review the situation again in 10 days from now and communicate any change in direction then.

    Also, all non-essential in-person training remains suspended. Adhering to public health protocols in the community and at work remains essential.

    Last year has showed us that we are more adaptable, resilient and united than we ever imagined. It has also demonstrated the value of slowing down, working together and focusing on the areas of life that matter most. These attributes will undoubtedly carry us forward in 2021.

    I look forward to working alongside each of you as we embrace this new year with grace, kindness and hope.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068

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  • November 23, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    With COVID-19 cases and exposure notices on the rise, it’s imperative that we all follow the most recent direction from public health.

    Given the number of cases in our region, until further notice employees who can work from home are directed to do so. All others are to report to their usual work location and continue to follow the health and safety measures in place to help reduce the spread of the virus. As well, all in-person training has been suspended.

    Please ensure you’re following all COVID-19 protective measures:

    • Maintain accurate facility entry records for staff and visitors via swipe access or log book (name, phone #, date)
    • Do not conduct in-person meetings unless essential for operational purposes
    • Maintain physical distance whenever possible
    • Wear a mask when required
    • Stay home when feeling unwell
    • Review the Exposure Locations notifications regularly and follow accompanying directives
    • Visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing symptoms
    • Stay informed via: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    If you have any questions or concerns about your work arrangements, please contact your supervisor.

    Across the country and in our region, increased measures are being implemented to control the spread of the virus, including some recent changes to travel within the Atlantic bubble. I know this continues to be a difficult time, especially with the holiday season around the corner – but it’s critical we remain vigilant.

    We must all do our part to protect each other, especially those must vulnerable.

    Remember, our Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to those who may need to access services and resources. Employees can also contact Human Resources at MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145.

    Thank you for working safely.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FAP: 902.483.6068

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