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.

  • Human Resources is here for you

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    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

    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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  • Download the COVID Alert App today

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    The COVID Alert app, a tool to help break the cycle of infection and keep our communities safe, is now available in Nova Scotia.

    COVID Alert will let users know of possible exposures before symptoms appear. Users of the app who test positive for COVID-19 can enter a random code provided by the Nova Scotia Health Authority. An alert will then be sent to any phone that has come within two meters for at least 15 minutes with a person who has tested positive.

    COVID Alert does not know or track your location, name or contacts and does not collect personal or health information of you or anyone you’re near.

    More information about COVID Alert, including how to download, can be found online(External link) or by watching the video(External link) below.


  • Working safely during COVID-19

    Colleagues,

    With our first snowfall behind us, and cooler temperatures settling in, I hope you’re all enjoying the fall season in our beautiful region.

    We’ve been extremely fortunate over the last couple of months, to live in a part of the country, and of the world, where reported COVID-19 cases remain low. But this doesn’t mean we’ve been unaffected.

    And, as Dr. Strang spoke to earlier this week, with cases on the rise in our province, we must remain vigilant.

    We’ve come a long way over the duration of the pandemic both as a community and as an organization. In alignment with public health directives, our worksites now have the necessary health and safety practices in place, including limitations on the number of employees allowed in a given location.

    Should you be asked to report to the workplace by your direct supervisor, please be assured that all protocols are in place to help ensure your safety.

    Of course, these practices are only effective if our actions and behaviors follow suit. For us this means abiding by capacity limits, maintaining physical distance, wearing masks when required and staying home when feeling unwell – to name a few.

    As we’ve all come to realize, the nature of this pandemic is everchanging. In response to that, we continue to adapt our practices and procedures to reflect the most recent direction from our public health authorities and safeguard the wellbeing of all employees.

    If you have any questions about the health and safety measures in your workplace, please speak with your manager.

    As always, our Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to those who may need to access services and resources.

    Our municipal services also continue to adjust to safely meet the needs of our residents. Read the latest PSA’s:

    Thank you for your efforts to follow public health guidelines to keep one another safe. We are in this together.

    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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  • September 18 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    Last week was very busy for many of you with family members returning to schools. The start of this school year provides yet another example of how we are all trying to figure out how to live our lives under these very unusual circumstances.

    At the municipality, many staff are working from home, some continue to work onsite, and others are beginning to return to offices. In all environments, the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and residents remains at the centre of every decision we make.

    As we do our best to adapt to the new safety practices, I want to remind you that we are all responsible for staying informed and following the direction from public health authorities. This means wearing masks when required, maintaining physical distance whenever possible and practicing good hygiene.

    The municipality’s COVID Task Force continues to support Business Units as we adapt our operations to safely deliver services. While each Business Unit is responsible for developing Workplace Safety Plans that reflect their unique operational needs, there is also some general information we must all follow:

    • All employees must complete the COVID-19 required training.
    • Increased cleaning efforts are underway. Review the Cleaning Guidelines to ensure you understand your role.
    • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces:
      • Worksite reception areas, washrooms and hallways are all deemed public places and employees must wear a mask while in these spaces.
      • If visitors enter your worksite (either staff from another location or members of the public), the workspace must be treated as public, and masks must be worn.
      • Visit the Nova Scotia Health & Wellness webpage for more information on masks.
    • While virtual meetings should be utilized whenever possible, some in-person meetings are resuming.
      • Be sure to follow posted instructions including physical distancing, occupancy limits and cleaning guidelines when using municipal boardrooms.
      • The Task Force will be sharing updated Boardroom procedures with Business Units in the coming days.
    • Business Units are responsible for displaying approved COVID-19 signage in their worksites. The use of directional, general instruction and public health signage aims to create safe spaces by promoting proper physical distancing, cleaning and hygiene practices.
    • Employees should be aware of the revised symptoms and testing information, including how to self-isolate, and what to do if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.


    We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves, our colleagues, our residents and our communities safe. If you have questions about the COVID-19 prevention methods in your workspace, please contact your manager for more information.

    Thank-you for your ongoing diligence and support as we navigate this new reality together. Staff continue to find innovative ways to deliver impeccable service to our colleagues and residents. I am truly proud and grateful to work with such a talented and considerate team of people here at HRM.

    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

    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





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  • Updated Directive on Travel and Self-isolation During COVID-19

    Colleagues:

    Effective 12am, July 3, 2020, the CAO directive dated March 13, 2020 requiring mandatory self-isolation for travel outside of Nova Scotia is no longer in effect.

    Until further notice, all HRM employees must adhere to the current Public Health directives regarding travel and self-isolation, if required.

    If you have travelled outside of the Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland/Labrador) and arrived home after 12am, July 3, 2020 you are required to self-isolate for 14 calendar days.

    Please apply the below as per your situation:

    1. If the nature of your job allows you to work from home (WFH), and you have no symptoms, you are expected to notify your supervisor and work from home, and you will be paid REG time.
    1. If the nature of your job allows you to work from home but you are feeling sick, you will notify your supervisor you can’t work because you are sick. You will be paid through Sick Leave (SL), where available, until you are well enough to return to work.
    1. If your job does not allow you to WFH:
      1. and you travel outside of Atlantic Canada, you still must self-isolate for 14 days and use leave banks to cover this time. If, during or after the 14 days, you become sick, please contact your supervisor and you will be paid using Sick Leave (SL) where available.
      2. when requesting time off to travel outside of Atlantic Canada, you are required to request sufficient time off to cover your travel period plus your self-isolation period.

    Please direct any questions or concerns you may have to your supervisor.

    Many thanks,

    Kelly
    A/CAO

    Kelly Denty
    Director, Planning & Development

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  • COVID-19 Required Training – The New Normal

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    To support the wellbeing of all municipal employees, a new training course has been developed to educate staff on how to work safely during COVID-19.

    The online course will take approximately 30 minutes and includes a short knowledge check at the end. Once you finish the session, the system will automatically track your completion.

    All municipal employees must complete this required training*

    We understand that many employees continue to work from home. This training contains relevant safety information for all employees. Employees who are currently at worksites, and those with established return-to-work dates must complete this training as soon as possible.

    After completing the lesson, employees should be able to:

    1. Describe the signs, symptoms and risks of COVID-19.
    2. Explain personal actions you can take to protect your well-being and reduce your chances of getting infected and infecting others.
    3. Understand and know how to follow facility entry and exit procedures.
    4. Describe when to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), donning and doffing procedure and disposal.
    5. Understand and list Cleaning and Disinfecting methods for equipment and offices
    6. Understand meaning of various corporate signage to expect in the workplace
    7. Know where to find your Business Unit Re-Opening plan, Site Specific Workplace Control Documents and Safe Work Practices

    Ready to get started? Complete your training now. If you need help getting started, please review the job-aid.

    *The municipality has introduced a Task Force to assist Business Units through the COVID-19 recovery phases. They are working with Business Units to ensure employees without regular access to a computer can complete the training. Please speak to your manager/supervisor for more information.

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  • June 18 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way many of us work, and as the municipality begins to broaden our services, it will continue to transform how we focus on workplace safety over the months ahead.

    To support these efforts, we have established a Task Force, led by Chief Ken Stuebing of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency. Flexibility will be key to our success. Different Business Units have different needs, and our approach will allow teams to adapt to unique circumstances of their workspaces and staffing requirements.

    The Task Force will work collaboratively with Business Units to continue to adapt our operations in response to the pandemic. They will provide tools, training and support to establish clarity and consistency of protocols, so employees are informed and safe throughout the recovery phases.

    Parallel, we continue to focus on priority public-facing services, including Parks & Recreation and Halifax Transit. To read the latest updates on municipal services please visit halifax.ca/coronavirus.

    I want to express a sincere thank you to everyone for your dedication and professionalism in supporting the revised 2020-21 municipal budget approved last week by Regional Council.

    It’s been a challenging few months, and many of us are needing to recharge. As the weather improves and certain restrictions ease, I’d like to remind you to consult with your manager/supervisor about taking time off as schedules allow. Sometimes it feels hard to get away but taking vacation time is essential for our health and wellbeing.

    June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. It’s a day for all Canadians to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. I encourage you to explore virtual celebrations honouring the storied history and culture of Mi’kmaw communities.

    As we work through the next phases of the pandemic, our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our employees and residents.

    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

    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

  • June 5, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    Today Nova Scotia has reached a welcomed milestone. Many businesses and services are reopening to the public as directed by the Province. And, our reopening plans are beginning to take shape as well.

    At a municipal level, our initial plans focus on priority public-facing services, including Parks & Recreation, and Halifax Transit.

    We continue to maintain an absolute commitment to the health and safety of our colleagues and residents. As such, we’re expanding services and reopening spaces slowly and carefully, in accordance with public health guidelines to ensure everyone is properly protected. To read the latest updates on municipal services please visit halifax.ca/coronavirus.

    Over the past two months, many of us have transitioned successfully to working from home. This will remain for the foreseeable future as we continue to work together to consider the diverse needs of our teams and how best to adapt our workplaces.

    Thank you all for making a difference and for doing your share in support of our reopening efforts.

    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

    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 902.237.90