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.

  • September 18 - COVID-19 Update

    21 Sep 2020

    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

    07 Jul 2020

    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

    02 Jul 2020
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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

    18 Jun 2020

    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

    05 Jun 2020

    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

  • May 25, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    26 May 2020

    Colleagues,

    As many of you know, there was a wild fire in the Porters Lake area over the weekend. I want to commend Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency crews - including career and volunteer firefighters, logistics staff and senior officers - along with Ground Search & Rescue, emergency management volunteers, RCMP and the Province for tremendous work during a very scary time for residents of this community.

    Earlier today we held a media briefing, and so I’d like to update you on a few highlights I shared as we move into the beginning of the COVID-19 recovery stages.

    While we look toward next steps, municipal staff and Regional Council have continued discussions regarding a revised budget to account for the financial impacts of COVID-19.

    Thank you to all involved for your diligence throughout the revised budget process. Your ability to adapt and work as a team through this unpredictable time has been exceptional.

    There is one more virtual Special Budget Committee meeting scheduled for May 26. The final budget will be presented to Regional Council on June 9. Once these discussions have finished, we will have a clear picture of the impacts to capital and operating budgets.

    In the meantime, we have begun to plan for the first stage of recovery and are exploring and developing safe ways to help reopen our economy.

    As the need for social distancing will remain in place for the foreseeable future, and transportation patterns evolve throughout the recovery phases, it’s important we identify the necessary changes to our streets, sidewalks and bike lanes as part of our collective effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    Today we announced phase one of theHalifax Mobility Response Plan. This plan includes measures that can be deployed quickly, while also considering what will be needed over the coming months in response to public health directives.

    For further details from today’s announcement, please visit Halifax.ca/coronavirus.

    It goes without saying that the past few months have been challenging on us all, as it feels like nearly every aspect of daily life is impacted by COVID-19.

    We’ve seen some positive signs regarding reduced community spread of COVID-19 over the last couple of weeks and I can sense an improvement to our collective morale. It feels good to see more smiling faces walking down our streets and enjoying trails and parks while practicing social distancing.

    Please continue to stay safe and follow public health directives. We’ve made a lot of progress and don’t want to take any steps back as we continue through the recovery phases.

    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 902.237.9087

  • May 22, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    22 May 2020

    Colleagues,

    With the warm and sunny weather upon us, the introduction of household bubbles and the gradual re-opening of some public spaces, I find myself feeling hopeful.

    While it’s clear that the future is still unknown, and adhering to public health directives remains crucial, I very much look forward to an eventual return to more normal operations. As we look to what’s next, I want to provide reassurance that we are developing plans, processes and protocols with your safety and wellbeing top of mind.

    We understand that this process will be another complex undertaking, that must consider the diverse needs of our workforce and work environments. We will continue to work closely with business units to determine employee-based solutions that work for all.

    Our organization’s ability to provide high-quality public services wouldn’t be possible without all of you. And because of that, it’s our job to provide you with the support and flexibility you need to make a difference in our communities.

    We also continue to evaluate and adapt our safety practices to help ensure those who work in the public are protected.

    As you know, Regional Council is concluding the second week of budget deliberations today. I will provide a further update about how their decisions will impact our operational and capital budget in the coming weeks.

    Thank you all for your perseverance and patience as we work to get through this rare and challenging time 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

    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

  • COVID-19 Update - Budget - May 12, 2020

    13 May 2020

    Colleagues,

    Like so many others in our region and across the country, the impact of COVID-19 has placed considerable and unforeseen financial pressures on our municipality. While our collective efforts to reduce the spread of disease are necessary, they’ve come at an unavoidable cost to our organization.

    Over the past several weeks, staff have worked hard to provide a revised municipal budget to Regional Council for consideration. This has not been an easy task, and the decisions that follow will surely be difficult.

    Council will begin deliberations tomorrow, May 12 and will continue for several weeks before decisions are finalized. These special meetings by the Budget Committee and Regional Council meetings will be held virtually. View the Proposed 2020/21 Budget Recast for COVID-19 Impacts to learn more.

    The municipality takes its role of financial stewardship very seriously. I would like to thank you - Mayor Savage and Members of Regional Council and Directors, Union leaders and all staff, for your continued dedication to safely providing public services upon which our residents depend.

    As the duration of this situation remains unknown, I know it continues to be a difficult time, both personally and professionally. We will evaluate the organizational impacts and provide additional information as it becomes available.

    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 902.237.9087

  • COVID-19 Resources for Employees & Leaders

    29 Apr 2020
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    Human Resources has developed a new COVID-19 Resource for Employees & Leaders. This online resource contains tools and information to help you at work during COVID-19.

    It discusses healthy ergonomics, physical and mental health resources, employee engagement tips and much more.

    During these difficult and unpredictable times, employees are encouraged to reach out to Human Resources for support. For centralized access to employee services, please contact MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145. You can also review the COVID-19 Employee FAQ for answers to common questions.

  • Employee and Family Assistance Programs (EFAP) 24/7 access to services and resources

    29 Apr 2020

    If you, or a direct family member, are experiencing increased worry or anxiety, you can reach out to your respective Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) 24 hours a day, seven days a week for support.

    Homewood Health’s EFAP

    Through Homewood Health, our corporate EFAP provider, eligible employees of the Halifax Regional Municipality and family members* can receive free and confidential support services.

    All Homewood Health EFAP services are still being offered and have been modified to maintain social (physical) distancing. Counseling is now being offered via telephone, email and video.

    To speak to someone in confidence, book an appointment, or for crisis services call 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142. The intake counselor will help guide you to the appropriate service or resource.

    To access electronic supports, register at HomeWeb.ca. You will be required to provide an email address and password to set up your account.

    For detailed instructions and an overview of services, see Get to know your EFAP.


    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP

    Contact 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296 for more information.


    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP

    Contact 902.483.6068 or 902.237.9087 for more information.


    MyHR

    Employees can also email MyHR@halifax.ca or phone 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services. Click here to learn more about MyHR.


    * Full-time employees (within non-union, NSUPE, CUPE and ATU groups) and their immediate family members are eligible to access the Homewood Health EFAP.

    Note: employee members of the Halifax Regional Police Association (HRPA) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) have their own respective EFAPs listed above.