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.

  • 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.

  • MyHR – Central access to employee services

    29 Apr 2020

    MyHR offers simple, central access to employee services including benefits, pension, training and general HR inquiries. Available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MyHR provides timely service to address many of your HR questions and needs. Contact MyHR by phone 902.490.6145 or by email MyHR@halifax.ca for assistance.

    For more information on MyHR and other available HR services, visit intranet.halifax.ca/BusinessUnits/HumanResources/.

  • April 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    04 May 2020

    Colleagues,

    I continue to be grateful to every municipal employee for their ongoing efforts on behalf of our residents and employees. I know so much of this work goes on behind the scenes, and I want everyone to know your contributions are sincerely appreciated.

    I’m pleased to share that the office of 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.

    During these difficult and unpredictable times, our partners in Human Resources are here for you. For centralized access to employee services, please contact MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145.

    Public Service Announcement (PSA):

    Our service levels continue to change as necessary to meet the needs of our residents during this time. Here are some highlights from today’s PSA regarding changes to Halifax Transit beginning Monday, May 4.

    • Halifax Transit will implement a further reduction in weekday transit services.
    • Both the Alderney and Woodside ferries will be reduced to half hour, peak period service on weekdays. There will be no mid-day, evening or weekend service until further notice.
    • Visit halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit/coronavirus for more information on the upcoming service schedule adjustments.

    I hope you’re all finding new ways to adapt and stay connected as we continue to persevere through this unique health crisis.

    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


  • Organizational Impacts

    17 Mar 2020


    *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

    • 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

    Virtual Regional Council meetings

    To continue to practice safe social distancing, there will be four virtual special meetings of Regional Council on April 2, April 9, April 14 and April 28, each starting at 1 p.m. The purpose of these special meetings is to deal with matters as determined by the CAO and Mayor.

    Click the video link on Halifax.ca to “watch on web” and enter the webcast by selecting ‘join anonymously’.

    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.


  • April 15, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    15 Apr 2020

    Colleagues,

    Because of COVID-19, each day we’re faced with new changes and challenges that require us to respond, adapt and make difficult decisions. Like all administrations, we are not immune to the significant financial impacts resulting from this situation.

    We continue to look at our human resources to ensure they align with the services we are providing. We’re now dealing with the reality of needing to make staffing adjustments.

    With that, we have made the decision to reduce budgeted staffing levels by approximately 1,480 casual, temporary and seasonal employees who normally provide service to the public that is currently not being provided due to the pandemic.

    Those impacted were contacted directly. If you fall into this category and have not heard from your manager/supervisor, or a representative from Human Resources by end of day April 17, please contact MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145.

    As with everything COVID-19 related, it is difficult to make predictions about future decisions regarding adjustments to service and staffing levels. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.

    To those of you who will no longer be working with us in the short-term, I want to extend my appreciation and gratitude for your services. This is not a scenario any of us anticipated and certainly not one any of us desired.

    We will get back to providing full-service levels in all business units in the future and I, like the Mayor, every member of Regional Council and our leadership team, hope that future is very soon.

    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

  • April 9, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    14 Apr 2020

    Colleagues,

    I am writing to follow-up on my March 20 email where I last advised you of the status of employees’ pay. I appreciate this is a difficult situation for you and your families and am writing to provide updates as follows:

    • Regular full-time employees and regular part-time employees who are currently working, either at home or in the workplace, will continue to be paid as normal until further notice.

    • All casual and temporary employees will continue to be paid based on an average of their pay from the last fiscal year until the pay period ending April 25, with deposit on May 7. These employees will be notified (or may have already been notified) with respect to their employment status after April 25. If you fall into this category and have not heard from your Supervisor/Manager or a representative from Human Resources by end of day April 17, please contact Human Resources at MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145.

    We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.

    With the Easter holiday around the corner, I’d like to extend a special thank-you to all those who continue to provide services over the long-weekend on which our residents rely.

    Where we would normally celebrate traditions with friends and family, we’re instead experiencing the new layers of social challenges that come with it.

    Although festivities may look different this year, their spirit remains the same. I do hope you take the time to relax and find new ways to connect with loved ones.

    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

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

    03 Apr 2020
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    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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  • March 31, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    31 Mar 2020

    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

    27 Mar 2020

    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

    27 Mar 2020

    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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