Coronavirus Disease | COVID-19

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.

  • hfxALERT: Sign-up and download the app for mass municipal notifications, including responses to COVID-19

    1 day ago

    hfxALERT is the mass notification system for the municipality.

    Subscribers to hfxALERT, and those who download the app, will receive urgent and non-urgent municipal notifications from Halifax Regional Police, Halifax Fire & Emergency’s Emergency Management Division, including the municipality's response to COVID-19.

    Sign-up and choose how you wish to receive notices—through an automated phone call, text message, location-based push notification (if you have downloaded the mobile application) or email.

    All urgent alerts are mandatory; however, you can opt-in/out for other notifications when you create your account.

    Visit halifax.ca/hfxALERT for more information, to sign-up for notifications and to download mobile app.

    hfxALERT is the mass notification system for the municipality.

    Subscribers to hfxALERT, and those who download the app, will receive urgent and non-urgent municipal notifications from Halifax Regional Police, Halifax Fire & Emergency’s Emergency Management Division, including the municipality's response to COVID-19.

    Sign-up and choose how you wish to receive notices—through an automated phone call, text message, location-based push notification (if you have downloaded the mobile application) or email.

    All urgent alerts are mandatory; however, you can opt-in/out for other notifications when you create your account.

    Visit halifax.ca/hfxALERT for more information, to sign-up for notifications and to download mobile app.

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  • COVID-19 - Employee FAQ

    19 days ago
    Last updated: March 27, 2020; 3:28 p.m.




    ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: March 18, 2020. Items added or amended since the original publication date are noted.

    A Province wide State of Emergency was declared March 22, 2020.

    1. Where can I learn more about COVID-19? (updated March 25)

    As this situation continues to change quickly, you’re encouraged to check the following sites for accurate up-to-date information:

    Last updated: March 27, 2020; 3:28 p.m.




    ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: March 18, 2020. Items added or amended since the original publication date are noted.

    A Province wide State of Emergency was declared March 22, 2020.

    1. Where can I learn more about COVID-19? (updated March 25)

    As this situation continues to change quickly, you’re encouraged to check the following sites for accurate up-to-date information:


    2. What can I do to avoid getting this virus?

    Public service employees should follow the advice provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada to the general population.

    Employees can play an active role in staying healthy and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Follow these simple steps recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada:

    • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
    • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
    • cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not your hands; and
    • stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.

    3. How will work-related information and updates be communicated?

    The CAO will be sending regular all staff communications by email to keep employees informed as the situation continues to evolve. These updates will be shared on the Employee Hub which can be accessed from any device (personal or work), printed and posted in municipal facilities, and linked to from the intranet. Business unit leaders/managers/supervisors will also be responsible for sharing frequent updates with their teams.

    Employees can also email MyHR@halifax.ca or call 902.490.6145 if they are unable to access the updates or have further questions.


    4. Where can I seek guidance regarding workplace risk of exposure to the COVID-19?

    Employees who are concerned about their health and safety should consult with their manager to discuss their concerns.


    5. Who is responsible for employees' occupational health and safety?

    The Nova Scotia Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act is based on the Internal Responsibility System (IRS). Under the IRS, since all “workplace parties” influence what a workplace is like, they must all share responsibility for making the workplace safer and healthier to the extent of their authority and ability to do so.

    As an example:

    • Employers shall take every precaution that is reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the health and safety of persons at or near the workplace. This is achieved through specific duties under the Act.
    • Employees, while at work, shall take every reasonable precaution in the circumstances to protect the employee’s own health and safety and that of other persons at or near the workplace. This is also achieved through specific duties under the Act.

    Check your Health & Safety Communication Board in your workplace for a paper copy.


    6. How is Halifax Regional Municipality protecting its employees?

    • The municipality is providing information to its employees on how to protect themselves against COVID-19 by relaying public health information provided by Nova Scotia’s department of Health and Wellness and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
    • Enhanced cleaning is occurring at municipal facilities, including the installation of hand sanitization stations.
    • The municipality is following the province’s advice to implement efforts to promote social distancing. This includes, but is not limited to:
      - Employees who can work from home are directed to do so;
      - Non-essential gatherings are being postponed;
      - Requests for business travel outside of Nova Scotia will not be approved; and
      - Employees who have travelled to a state, province or country where there have been
      confirmed COVID-19 cases, are directed to self-isolate for 14 days following the trip and not report to work.

    7. As an employee, what are my responsibilities in the context of COVID-19? (March 25)

    Employees have the responsibility to inform themselves by consulting information provided by health authorities and by HRM. They are responsible for following management's directions regarding reporting to work and workplace health procedures in the context of the COVID-19.

    The NS OH&S Act outlines precautions and duties for all employees regardless of their position in the organization. Employees' duties include, among others:

    • Using safety equipment provided to them;
    • Complying with all instructions from the employer concerning the health and safety of employees; and
    • Cooperating with any person carrying out a duty set out in the NS OH&S Act.

    While at work, employees must also report to the employer anything in a workplace that is likely to be hazardous to the health or safety of employees, or other persons granted access to the workplace by the employer.

    Employees are responsible to advise if they’ve travelled to a location the Canadian government has assessed as being “at-risk” for exposure to COVID-19 since March 13, 2020.

    To avoid spreading the virus to colleagues and clients, employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing) have a duty to stay at home as long as they present symptoms, or as long as directed by their doctors.


    8. What are my rights as an employee?

    Employees have specific rights related to working conditions and leave provisions that are outlined in collective agreements and official policies. If employees require assistance in understanding these provisions, they should talk to their manager/supervisor or their union representative.

    In addition, employees have three specific rights under the Nova Scotia OH&S Act, in relation to their health and safety in the workplace:

    • the right to know;
    • the right to participate; and
    • the right to refuse dangerous work.

    The Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education created a brochure Your Rights, Responsibilities, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act containing general information on the NS OH&S Act. The three rights mentioned above are explained.


    9. Are there resources to help with the increased anxiety that myself or a colleague may be experiencing?

    Under circumstances such as these, it is natural to experience different levels of anxiety. Employees may wish to speak to their manager/supervisor, who will be able to advise them on what services are available to help them.

    Full-time employees and their direct family members can access Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program at 902-466-3327 or 1-800-663-1142

    Members of the Halifax Regional Police Association (HRPA) may contact their EFAP coordinator at 902-430-8295 or 902-430-8296.

    Members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) may contact their FFAP coordinator at 902-490-6271 or 902-237-9087.


    10. What if I have symptoms consistent with COVID-19? (March 25)

    If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you must stay home. Contact your supervisor/manager and tell them you are sick. Completethe provincial Public Health self-assessment questionnaire immediately and follow the instructions provided based on your self-assessment results.


    11. What if I test positive for COVID-19? (March 25)

    Follow the direction in the Order of the Chief Medical Officer of Public Health.

    Please contact your supervisor/manger to advise you are sick as you would at any other time.


    12. What if I test negative for COVID-19 but I still feel unwell? (March 25)

    If you have been tested and it has been confirmed you do not have COVID-19 but you do not feel well enough to come to work, please contact your supervisor/manager to advise you are sick, as you would at any other time.


    13. What if I had been sick with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, but now I feel well enough to return to work? (March 25)

    We will follow the direction in the Order of the Chief Medical Officer of Public Health for any return to work. Please contact your supervisor/manager to discuss.


    14. Will these absences count as sick time hours or a sicktime “occurrence” under the Attendance Support Policy?

    We will not include any sick leave taken during the COVID-19 pandemic in future attendance reporting.


    15. What if I live with someone who works in health care?

    Currently, no directive has been issued by Nova Scotia Public Health requiring individuals who reside with a heath care professional to self-isolate. Employees who have concerns are asked to speak to their manager/supervisor to discuss their work arrangements.


    16. Are there any impacts to how temporary, part-time and casual employees are being paid? (updated March 19)

    As of March 17, our payroll operations are functioning as normal. Temporary, casual and part-time employees will be paid for the next two weeks based on their scheduled hours for the pay period ending March 28. The deposit date for this pay period is Thursday, April 9. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.


    17. Do I have the right to refuse to work for health and safety reasons? (Mar 25)

    The health, safety and well-being of municipal employees and residents is our top priority. Municipal employees will be expected to report to work unless advised otherwise by their manager based on the advice of health authorities. It is the manager's discretion to consider requests for alternative working arrangements subject to operational requirements. Employees who have concerns are asked to speak to their manager/supervisor to discuss their work arrangements.

    Public safety workers, including police officers and firefighters, are required by Occupational, Health, and Safety legislation to report to work and cannot refuse to work because: such refusal would put the life, health, or safety of the public at risk; and risk is inherent in the work of these employees.


    18. Do I have the right to refuse to attend meetings and other workplace gatherings if I suspect that I could risk being infected with COVID-19?

    Employees are responsible for following their management's directions regarding reporting to work and workplace health procedures in the context of COVID-19.

    Employees who are reporting to their usual work location are asked to exercise safe social distancing to the extent possible. This means avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings, greeting one another with a wave or elbow instead of a handshake or hug, and keeping a two-meter distance from others – if and when possible.

    Managers can consider alternatives to meetings and gatherings such as teleconferencing and Skype.


    19. What can I do if my work involves contact with customers (i.e. residents/visitors/clients)?

    The municipality is working with business units to adhere to the most recent guidance from public health officials. All designated services including Halifax Transit, 311, Fire, and Police – are operational and adhering to the most updated guidance and precautions from health officials.

    As of Tuesday, March 17, all municipally-owned recreation centres are closed.

    As of Wednesday, March 18, all municipal Customer Service Centres, including services provided at these locations by Planning & Development, are closed to the public.

    As of Wednesday, March 18, the Youth Live Enviro Depot is closed to the public.


    20. What happens if an employee was traveling outside of the province when the March 13th CAO directive to self-isolate for 14 days was issued and has since returned home? (updated March 25)

    If the employee can work from home, they should do so for the time required to cover the self-isolation period. If the employee is not able to work from home, the employee will be paid and is not required to draw from personal leave banks.


    21. What happens if an employee left for travel outside of the province after the March 13th CAO directive to self-isolate upon return was issued. (updated March 25)

    The employee will not be paid and must draw from personal leave banks.


    22. Can I cancel my scheduled vacation leave and reschedule later? (March 25)

    Employees who want to cancel and reschedule previously approved vacation leave are asked to speak to their manager/supervisor.


    23. What does it mean to self-isolate? (updated March 25)

    Self-isolation means:

    • avoid work, school or other public areas;
    • limit contact with people you live with, if you have symptoms;
    • use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible, if you have symptoms;
    • call 811 if you have a fever and/or new cough;
    • make plans to have groceries and other supplies delivered;
    • avoid anyone with chronic conditions, compromised immune system or older adults;
    • do not have visitors to your home;
    • do not use public transit/taxi.

    Further information on self-isolation protocols are available from Public Health


    24. What if I am responsible for the care of a high-risk individual?

    Employees who have concerns are asked to speak to their manager/supervisor to discuss their work arrangements.


    25. What if I live with someone who has recently traveled out of the country?

    Currently, no directive has been issued by the Nova Scotia Health Authority requiring individuals who reside with someone who has traveled out of the country to self-isolate. Employees who have concerns are asked to speak to their manager/supervisor to discuss their work arrangements.


    26. What if I do not meet the meet quarantine /self-isolation requirements but I’m still choosing to not come to work? Am I required to use personal leave?

    Employees who have concerns are asked to speak to their manager/supervisor to discuss their work arrangements.


    27. I have a health consideration(s)/health condition and cannot work from home but feel I’m at enhanced risk for day to day exposure in public interactions - travelling to work, working with others, etc. Am I required to come in?

    Employees who have concerns are asked to speak to their manager/supervisor to discuss their work arrangements.


    28. I have been given approval to work from home. Are there any resources or tools to assist me in getting things set up and working properly? (updated March 25)

    You can locate the Working from Home toolkit on the HRM intranet. This is only accessible if you are using an HRM device and have access to the HRM intranet. If you require additional assistance, please contact MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145 and select the Training option from the menu.


    29. Is there a plan in place to provide laptops/technology or employees who could work from home but are not currently set up to do so?

    Please do not contact the ICT Helpdesk to request laptops or other equipment to facilitate work from home options. Our partners in ICT are currently assessing the need for laptops and remote access and are determining priorities based on service continuity.


    30. Are there any on-line learning opportunities I can take part in?

    Employees can access free on-line learning through Lynda.com. Information on how to access this site is located on the Human Resources Learning & Development page or by contacting MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145 and select the Training option from the menu.

  • Organizational Impacts

    19 days ago


    *Do you have information that needs to be shared with all Municipal Employees? Email EmployeeBulletin@halifax.ca.

    For additional information, please read the Employee FAQ.


    General Updates

    • Effective March 13, if you have travelled to a state, province or country where there have been confirmed COVID-19 cases, we are directing you to self-isolate for 14 days following the trip and do not report to work.
    • Until further notice:
      • Employees who can work from home are directed to do so
      • Requests for business travel outside of Nova Scotia will not be approved
      • The Attendance Support Policy has been suspended
      • Medical notes...


    *Do you have information that needs to be shared with all Municipal Employees? Email EmployeeBulletin@halifax.ca.

    For additional information, please read the Employee FAQ.


    General Updates

    • Effective March 13, if you have travelled to a state, province or country where there have been confirmed COVID-19 cases, we are directing you to self-isolate for 14 days following the trip and do not report to work.
    • Until further notice:
      • Employees who can work from home are directed to do so
      • Requests for business travel outside of Nova Scotia will not be approved
      • The Attendance Support Policy has been suspended
      • Medical notes related to short-term sick leave absences are not required

    Finance & Asset Management

    • Our municipal payroll operations continue to function as normal.
    • Part-time/casual employees will be paid according to what has been scheduled for the upcoming two weeks.
    • Regular full-time employees, who are currently working, will continue to be paid as normal.
    • Regular full-time employees who have been advised by their manager not to attend work, as the service they provide has been reduced or suspended, will be paid for their regular hours for the next four weeks ending April 25. The deposit date for this pay period is May 7. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.
    • After the two-week period ending March 28, we will pay all part time/ casual/ temporary employees based on an average of their pay from the last fiscal year for another four-week period to pay period ending April 25, with deposit on May 7. This will be reviewed during the four-week period to determine next steps.
    • Any seasonal employees who are not currently working but had an anticipated return for the spring/ summer season, will receive a separate communication in the coming weeks regarding next steps.

    Human Resources

    • Benefits Re-enrollment deadline extended until May 1, 2020. HR will process requests for re-enrolment packages up to March 31. Contact MyHR@halifax.ca with questions.
    • Employee Services: As part of the Employee Recognition Program, HR will be unable to fulfill gift card orders at this time. Any existing orders will be held and processed when staff are back in the office again.
    • Training & Development: All Corporate Training classes are cancelled until further notice.
    • The Spring Leadership Summit scheduled for April 8 has been cancelled.
    • View the Work from Home Toolkit aimed at helping individuals get set up to work efficiently from home.

    EPass Program

    • In light of the current situation, Halifax Transit has suspended all fare collection on bus and ferry services effective Wednesday, March 18.
    • As a result of this decision, EPass payroll deductions are suspended effective pay period 8 (from March 16 to March 28 – deposit date April 9) until further notice.

    HRM Pension Office

    • Effective March 17, the HRM Pension Plan Office is no longer conducting in-person appointments until further notice.

    Access & Privacy Office

    • The Access & Privacy Office is advising potential applicants to expect delays in the processing of requests, as many municipal staff are working remotely and are not in a position to search for records responsive to requests.

    Corporate & Customer Services

    • Corporate Security: Effective March 16, Corporate Security is suspending the issuing of new ID badges unless there is an urgent requirement (ie. police, EMO, Fire). If you have an issue with your ID badge, please contact the Operations Centre (ext. 2555).
    • Print Services: Effective immediately, the Print Centre will be prioritizing Tax Bill fulfillment and communications regarding COVID-19. This may result in longer wait times for other print services support. Thank-you for your understanding.
    • Effective March 23, interdepartmental mail has been reduced to Tuesdays and Fridays. As such, incoming/outgoing mail through Canada Post will only be handled on these days.
    • Canada Post is no longer taking signatures. As a result, Registered Letters will not be signed for.
    • The Print Services team in Corporate Communications will be working with Business Units Coordinators to determine specific arrangements as required.

    Municipal service updates can be found on halifax.ca/coronavirus.


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  • March 31, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    5 days ago

    Colleagues,

    As I touched on last week, we are living in a new reality that feels far from normal.

    I understand how difficult this is. The many complications and unknowns of blending your work and personal lives, as they intersect in new ways isn’t easy. On the heels of the province’s decision to extend school closures, I am reminded of the earlier years with my own children, and how difficult it must be for all those balancing the demands of family and work at a time like this.

    Of course, this is just one of many difficult scenarios that our...

    Colleagues,

    As I touched on last week, we are living in a new reality that feels far from normal.

    I understand how difficult this is. The many complications and unknowns of blending your work and personal lives, as they intersect in new ways isn’t easy. On the heels of the province’s decision to extend school closures, I am reminded of the earlier years with my own children, and how difficult it must be for all those balancing the demands of family and work at a time like this.

    Of course, this is just one of many difficult scenarios that our workforce is dealing with right now. While many are trying to complete tasks with young children by their side, others have high-risk dependents to care for, are working in essential services or have partners on the front lines of health care. No one is untouched by this rare world event.

    Yesterday, provincial health authorities announced that Nova Scotia has its first case of transmission resulting from community spread. Now, it’s even more critical to adhere to the public health orders and directives – practice good hygiene, maintain a physical distance, limit essential gatherings to no more than five people and stay at home as much as possible.

    We know that these guidelines look different in some of our work environments. Our teams have made incredible adjustments over the last number of weeks. All these efforts combined will help to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

    Words simply can’t express how proud I am to work alongside each of you in the face of this adverse, unpredictable and complicated situation. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to making a difference.

    As a municipality we’re continuing to do what we can to support these efforts. I’d like to share a few highlights from yesterday’s Public Service Announcement:

    As per the provincial State of Emergency Order:

    • All provincial and municipal parks, as well as beaches, playgrounds, sports fields, courts and associated parking lots remain closed. If you enter these areas you are breaching the order and maybe charged.
    • Provincial and municipal trails that are not part of a park can be used for exercise purposes, but only if you can walk there.
    • Residents who have questions about the status of a trail can call 311, however, the municipality is asking residents to:
      • Stay home unless absolutely necessary.
      • Walk/exercise within your neighbourhood only.
      • Practice social distancing. This means staying at least two metres apart from others and do not gather in groups.
    • The municipality’s parking enforcement team continues to align with Halifax Regional Police in enforcement efforts related to COVID-19.
    • If you park in a parking lot that is part of a provincial or municipal park, you are breaching the order and in addition to being charged may be ticketed and/or towed. Residents can call 311 to report a vehicle that is non-compliant.
    • We are still seeing people gathering and participating in activities such as private parties, street hockey and basketball games - these do not meet social distancing rules and exceed the maximum of people.
    • To report violations related to the provincial state of emergency, call the police non-emergency line at 902-490-5020.

    Thanks so much for everything you are doing to support your family, friends and colleagues during this public health crisis; keep HRM operational; and flatten the COVID-19 curve.

    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

    Municipal media briefings:Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    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 or 902.237.9087

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  • March 27, 2020 COVID-19 Update

    9 days ago

    Colleagues,

    I continue to be heartened by the extraordinary efforts being made to keep delivering services that our colleagues and residents across the region rely on.

    I know it’s not easy. Understanding that everyone is coping with their own stress and worry right now, on top of work pressures, makes me appreciate your efforts even more.

    As many have cited, we must pace ourselves. We’ve reached the end of week two, but we have a long, uncertain road ahead.

    Now more than ever, we must do our very best to maintain a balance between work and life, and to prioritize...

    Colleagues,

    I continue to be heartened by the extraordinary efforts being made to keep delivering services that our colleagues and residents across the region rely on.

    I know it’s not easy. Understanding that everyone is coping with their own stress and worry right now, on top of work pressures, makes me appreciate your efforts even more.

    As many have cited, we must pace ourselves. We’ve reached the end of week two, but we have a long, uncertain road ahead.

    Now more than ever, we must do our very best to maintain a balance between work and life, and to prioritize our mental, physical and emotional health.

    Remember that there are resources and support available to you, whenever needed, through Human Resources and our Employee and Family Assistance programs.

    While we don’t know precisely when this pandemic will end, we anticipate current operations will function as they are now, until the end of June. I will continue to share updates and information as soon as I’m able.

    Here are some highlights from today’s Public Service Announcement:

    Halifax Transit

    • Due to the incredible effort from Halifax Transit maintenance workers, operators, and the operations team, today’s service remained fully operational on a reduced schedule.
    • Halifax Transit has been designated by the Province of Nova Scotia an essential service under the current provincial state of emergency. In light of this direction by the province, the municipality will continue delivering the highest level of service that can be reasonably provided – while also continuing to take steps that help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and make buses as safe an environment as possible in the circumstances. Residents are reminded that the level of transit service provided will continue to be adjusted as necessary, based on available operational resources.
    • For riders who have purchased a March or April transit pass, please keep your passes until further notice. Halifax Transit will update the status of transit passes in the coming days.

    Parks & Recreation

    • Recreation centres remain closed for the foreseeable future and all programming remains cancelled.
    • All municipal parks, beaches, playgrounds and sports fields/courts, as well as many trails are closed until further notice.
    • Residents who have questions about the status of a trail can call 311, however the municipality is asking residents to:
      - Stay home unless necessary
      - Walk/exercise within your neighbourhood only
      - Do not gather in groups
      - Do not visit parks
      - Continue to practice social distancing
    • Please note that all municipal spring recreation programming is cancelled and automatic refunds will be processed in the coming days.
    • All programs have been removed from the online registration system, and credits for cancelled programs have been applied as a first step. If residents wish to keep a credit on file for future use, please email the registration team at myrec@halifax.ca by Sunday, March 29.
    • All registrants will receive an email outlining this information, and additional questions can be submitted by email to myrec@halifax.ca. The registration phone line is not active for the time being.

    The challenges around us are not insignificant, but neither is our collective strength, optimism and perseverance. Be well this weekend and be sure to take a moment to breathe in some fresh air and connect with family and friends from afar.

    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

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    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 or 902.237.9087

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  • March 26, 2020 COVID-19 Update

    9 days ago

    Colleagues,

    Last night, Halifax Transit was advised that a staff member working in the Burnside Maintenance Department has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Information was shared immediately with Transit employees and a Public Service Announcement was issued this morning, but I want to provide all employees with an update on this matter, and what steps are in place to prevent the spread of illness.

    First though, I want to say that our thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery are with the individual involved, and their family.

    Based on an assessment of the circumstances, Public Health has indicated there is no...

    Colleagues,

    Last night, Halifax Transit was advised that a staff member working in the Burnside Maintenance Department has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Information was shared immediately with Transit employees and a Public Service Announcement was issued this morning, but I want to provide all employees with an update on this matter, and what steps are in place to prevent the spread of illness.

    First though, I want to say that our thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery are with the individual involved, and their family.

    Based on an assessment of the circumstances, Public Health has indicated there is no risk to transit riders or the general public.

    The following steps were taken immediately:

    All maintenance staff on the evening shift were sent home.

    The Burnside Maintenance Department workspace was disinfected, with a particular focus on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, work surfaces, tools, etc.

    Maintenance staff scheduled to work this morning were advised to not report for their shift.

    Adjustments are being made in the shared work areas in the maintenance department to ensure safe social distancing is made easier for staff (e.g. spacing tables and chairs in lunchroom).

    Public Health has been in contact with the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and identified anyone with whom the individual has been in close contact.

    Anyone who has been identified by Public Health, as being in close contact with the individual who has tested positive, has been contacted. Direction will be given to self-isolate and testing for COVID-19 will occur.

    Public Health has advised that the Burnside Maintenance Depot can remain operational and staff who have not been contacted by Public Health can report to work at the direction of Halifax Transit.

    Public Health defines close contact as:

    providing care for someone who tested positive for COVD-19

    having close physical contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

    living with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 (who isn’t able to properly and consistently socially distance)

    having close lengthy contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

    having contact with bodily fluids of someone who tested positive for COVID-19

    With the rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our region, I want to assure employees that we continue to refine our procedures to respond quickly to these scenarios. We also continue to take direction from Public Health regarding all the steps required to safeguard the health of our employees.

    We all must follow Public Health Orders and Direction:

    If you have travelled outside of Nova Scotia you must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days upon your return

    If you’re feeling unwell – stay home

    If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, complete the 811 online assessment

    Practice social-distancing. Keep 2 metres/6 feet away from others

    Follow the 5-person limit - to the extent you are able – in your individual workplaces

    Wash your hands with soap and water regularly or use hand sanitizer

    Cough into your sleeve or tissue and discard immediately

    Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth

    Avoid close contact with people who are sick

    Thank-you to all those who responded quickly to this situation and took the steps necessary to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and residents.

    If you have any questions about the procedures in your workplace, please reach out to your manager/supervisor to discuss.

    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

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    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: 902-490-6271 or 902-237-9087

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  • March 25, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    11 days ago

    Colleagues,

    I’m pleased to share that we now have greater clarity around the provincial state of emergency as stated in the provincial order, and how exceptions will be applied to various municipal services.

    Business Unit leaders will continue to communicate directly with employees around the application of the provincial order and what this looks like for individual teams.

    While certain exceptions are in place, I want to reiterate how important it is to continue to work together to stay safe. During my daily calls with senior leadership, I continue to receive updates about the efforts being made across the...

    Colleagues,

    I’m pleased to share that we now have greater clarity around the provincial state of emergency as stated in the provincial order, and how exceptions will be applied to various municipal services.

    Business Unit leaders will continue to communicate directly with employees around the application of the provincial order and what this looks like for individual teams.

    While certain exceptions are in place, I want to reiterate how important it is to continue to work together to stay safe. During my daily calls with senior leadership, I continue to receive updates about the efforts being made across the organization to practice social distancing and follow the 5-person limit wherever possible. These measures will undoubtedly help us to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Keep up this great work.

    There continue to be municipal service updates, and below are a few highlights from today’s Public Service Announcement:

    Planning & Development

    Online Permits and Applications

    ·An online form has been created for all permit and sub-division application intakes.

    ·Applications for Rezoning, Municipal Plan Amendments, Development Agreements, or Downtown Halifax Site Plan Approvals can be submitted via email to Carl Purvis – Planning Applications Program Manager purvisc@halifax.ca.

    ·Revised drawings and/or any amended application information for current files can also be submitted via email, directly to the planner assigned to your file.

    Halifax Transit

    ·The 5-person social gathering limit and two metre social distancing limit does not apply to Halifax Transit as stated in the provincial order.

    ·Buses and ferries will continue to operate on a reduced schedule.

    ·Halifax Transit has taken steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including anincreased frequency of wipe-downs of high-touch surfaces, making the first seat unavailable to riders on buses (this does not impact accessible seating), limiting passengers on buses to seated passengers only, and limiting the number of ferry passengers to 50 per trip.

    ·Riders must continue to board and exit through the rear doors only and are asked to only use transit services if necessary.

    ·Riders should continue to social distance as much as possible and should not use transit if they are feeling unwell.

    Also, please note that as a result of the decision to suspend all fare collection on bus and ferry services, EPass payroll deductions will be suspended effective pay period 8 (from March 16 to March 28 – deposit date April 9) until further notice.

    For employees who are now working from home, you’re encouraged to explore the Work from Home Toolkit aimed at helping individuals get set up to work efficiently from home.

    Thank you all for your continued support, resolve and kindness during these unprecedented times.

    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

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    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: 902-490-6271 or 902-237-9087


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  • March 24, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    11 days ago

    Colleagues,

    I’d like to pick up where we left off earlier this week, in reference to the province’s declaration of a state of emergency, and what this means for us and the services we deliver.

    We continue to work with provincial authorities to determine what services deemed essential under the provincial order will continue to operate. I greatly appreciate your patience while we work out the finer details and will continue to share information as soon as it’s available.

    In addition to other health and safety measures, I ask you all to continue to practice social distancing and follow the...

    Colleagues,

    I’d like to pick up where we left off earlier this week, in reference to the province’s declaration of a state of emergency, and what this means for us and the services we deliver.

    We continue to work with provincial authorities to determine what services deemed essential under the provincial order will continue to operate. I greatly appreciate your patience while we work out the finer details and will continue to share information as soon as it’s available.

    In addition to other health and safety measures, I ask you all to continue to practice social distancing and follow the 5-person rule – to the extent you are able – in your individual workplaces. Together, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    There continue to be municipal service updates, and below are a few highlights from today’s media briefing:

    • All standard essential services of the municipality – including 311, fire and police – are operational and adhering to the most updated guidance and precautions from health officials.
    • On behalf of our emergency responders, we ask that residents DO NOT call 911 for non-emergency purposes. Residents can call 311 and police non-emergency lines.
    • Consistent with the decision by the Province of Nova Scotia to close all provincial parks, all municipal parks, beaches, playgrounds, and sports fields/courts, as well as many trails are closed until further notice.
    • Clarification on municipal trail closures:
    • Residential pathways that connect streets can be used.
    • Multi-use paths along streets that replace sidewalks can be used.
    • Residents can walk/cycle to a trail in their neighborhood only, provided that trail is not connected to or in a park.
    • Residents are not permitted to drive to trails outside of their neighbourhood.

    For the full list of municipal service adjustments, view the latest Public Service Announcement.

    Also, please note the following organizational updates:

    • Interdepartmental mail has been reduced to Tuesdays and Fridays. As such, incoming/outgoing mail through Canada Post will only be handled on these days.
    • Canada Post is no longer taking signatures. As a result, Registered Letters will not be signed for.
    • The Print Services team in Corporate Communications will be working with Business Units Coordinators to determine specific arrangements as required.

    Again, thank-you all for doing your part to support each other, and our residents, through this difficult time. Many citizens have been sharing virtual kudos on social media and via 311, expressing their sincere admiration for your work in our communities. Your outstanding and ongoing efforts are appreciated. Keep well.

    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

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details

    regarding live streaming

    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: 902-490-6271 or 902-237-9087


  • March 22, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    13 days ago

    Colleagues,

    Earlier today the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency. We fully support these measures, and municipal staff will continue to work with the Province to align with recommendations of health officials and orders issued under the Emergency Measures Act.

    Services deemed essential under the provincial order will continue to operate. We understand there are questions and concerns around how this implicates some of our public services.Municipal staff are currently determining service level adjustments related to this provincial state of emergency, including Halifax Transit, and will share details as decisions are confirmed.

    I ask for your...

    Colleagues,

    Earlier today the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency. We fully support these measures, and municipal staff will continue to work with the Province to align with recommendations of health officials and orders issued under the Emergency Measures Act.

    Services deemed essential under the provincial order will continue to operate. We understand there are questions and concerns around how this implicates some of our public services.Municipal staff are currently determining service level adjustments related to this provincial state of emergency, including Halifax Transit, and will share details as decisions are confirmed.

    I ask for your patience at this time as we continue to work through what these changes will mean for our employees and our operational requirements.

    Also, please see the following municipal service updates shared via Public Service Announcement in response to the Province’s announcement:

    • Consistent with the decision by the Province of Nova Scotia to close all provincial parks, all municipal parks, beaches, playgrounds, sports fields/courts, and trails are closed until further notice.
    • All standard essential services of the municipality – including 311, fire and police – are operational and adhering to the most updated guidance and precautions from health officials.
    • Residents and businesses are advised: Under provincial authority, individuals who are found in breach of the order will be subject to fines issued by provincial and local police enforcement.

    These are challenging and uncertain times, but I feel assured that as a community, we will get through this together. I look forward to sharing an additional update related to this message as soon as possible.

    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

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    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: 902-490-6271 or 902-237-9087

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  • March 20, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    15 days ago

    Colleagues,

    What’s abundantly clear to me, more than ever, is the tremendous level of commitment, passion and care our public servants have for our community. It’s been a source of both comfort and pride for me, as I hope it’s been for all of you.

    I’ve heard from many of you that an area of great concern is your family’s financial wellbeing right now.

    It’s important for me to confirm that our payroll operations are functioning as normal.

    Below are a few related updates:

    • Regular full-time employees, who are currently working, will continue to be paid as normal.
    • Regular...

    Colleagues,

    What’s abundantly clear to me, more than ever, is the tremendous level of commitment, passion and care our public servants have for our community. It’s been a source of both comfort and pride for me, as I hope it’s been for all of you.

    I’ve heard from many of you that an area of great concern is your family’s financial wellbeing right now.

    It’s important for me to confirm that our payroll operations are functioning as normal.

    Below are a few related updates:

    • Regular full-time employees, who are currently working, will continue to be paid as normal.
    • Regular full-time employees who have been advised by their manager not to attend work, as the service they provide has been reduced or suspended, will be paid for their regular hours for the next four weeks ending April 25. The deposit date for this pay period is May 7. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.
    • After the two-week period ending March 28, we will pay all part time/ casual/ temporary employees based on an average of their pay from the last fiscal year for another four-week period to pay period ending April 25, with deposit on May 7. This will be reviewed during the four-week period to determine next steps.
    • Any seasonal employees who are not currently working but had an anticipated return for the spring/ summer season, will receive a separate communication in the coming weeks regarding next steps.

    As well, for your awareness, Halifax Transit has adjusted its service as follows:

    • Targeting a 30 per cent reduction in bus service on weekdays, as of Monday, March 23.
    • Continuing regular weekday schedules on some routes, while other routes will operate on their Saturday schedules during weekdays. Three routes will have no service. Weekend service will not be impacted. Details regarding route changes can be found at halifax.ca/transit
    • Access-a-Bus passengers are requested to limit trip requests to essential trips only including physician appointments, grocery trips, medical services & dialysis, and prescription retrieval.
    • For the most up-to-date information, follow @hfxtransit on Twitter for any service disruptions.

    A sincere thank you to our colleagues in Halifax Transit for continuing to provide this service to the residents and employees who depend on you for travel during this time.

    As you’re well aware, things are changing quickly and we continue to monitor the situation very closely. Know that in every decision we make, your safety and wellbeing remain top of mind.

    With the weekend upon us, take some time for you and search out a hidden trail or explore one of our hundreds of parks. As shared at the press conference today, avoiding playgrounds and other high-touch surfaces is important.

    Thank you for your efforts and cooperation as we work through this together. Keep well.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

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