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.

  • March 25, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    25 Mar 2020

    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

    25 Mar 2020

    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

    22 Mar 2020

    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

    20 Mar 2020

    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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  • March 19, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    20 Mar 2020

    Colleagues,

    Thank you all for your continued exemplary service throughout this challenging period. These are unprecedented times, and you are all doing a remarkable job supporting one another and our communities.

    We remain committed to taking important steps in reducing the spread of COVID-19.There continues to be ongoing municipal service adjustments, and below are a few highlights from today’s media briefing:

    • Ferry service will be reduced to 30-minute service on both routes starting at the beginning of service Friday, March 20.

    • Access-a-Bus passengers are requested to limit trip requests to essential trips only including physician appointments, medical services and dialysis, and prescription retrieval.
    • The municipality is currently looking at alternative payment options related to property taxes due April 30, 2020. Decisions will be communicated to taxpayers in advance of the deadline and will focus on addressing the needs of businesses and residents. Questions can be sent to proptax@halifax.ca.

    • Parking fees at meters have been waived and HotSpot fees will be set to zero until further notice.

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

    Also, please note that beginning Monday, March 23, interdepartmental mail will take 2-3 days to reach its destination. Along with its corporate mail delivery service, the Print Services team in Corporate Communications continues to adapt and maintain operations.

    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

    Thank you for helping with the community effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

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  • March 18, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    18 Mar 2020
    supporting image

    Colleagues,

    Thank you for your ongoing contributions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    Please click on the image below to view the video I recorded for you today.

    Your efforts are serving to help your colleagues, families, friends and the broader community so that we can get through this together, as soon as possible.

    Following ongoing risk assessments, the municipality continues to adjust delivery for some services:

    • All essential services of the municipality – including 311, fire and police – are operational and adhering to the most updated guidance and precautions from health officials.
    • Following the province’s decision yesterday to close all Access Nova Scotia offices, the municipality has closed all of our in-person Customer Service Centres.
    • Municipal online services remain available – and we’re currently developing a new web-based option to receive construction permit applications, which we aim to have operational by initial next week.
    • The Youth Live Enviro Depot at 947 Mitchell Street will be closing beginning March 19, 2020 until further notice.

    I want to remind everyone that we will continue to post municipal updates to halifax.ca/coronavirus and share via our Twitter and Facebook pages. Along with Mayor Savage, Assistant Chief Erica Fleck and other leaders across our organization, I have been participating in regular planning sessions and media briefings at the Emergency Operations Centre. We are streaming each media briefing via social media. Please sure to follow @hfxgov on Twitter to receive updates on when and how to access these online broadcasts.

    Employee updates will continue to be posted on a publicly accessible section of the Employee Hub hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus.

    Thank you once again for helping with the full community effort to reduce the spread COVID-19.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    COVID-19 Updates

    Employee Support

    • If you, or a direct family member, are experiencing increased worry or anxiety, you can reach out to Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program.
    • Available 24/7, the access numbers are 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142
    • Our partners in Human Resources are also here to help. You can contact MyHR@halifax.ca or phone 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services.

    Reach Out


  • March 17, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    17 Mar 2020

    Good morning colleagues,

    Recognizing that the safety, wellness and care of our employees is our priority, I have a few key points to share with all of you.

    Our municipal payroll is continuing as normal, and part-time/casual employees will be paid according to what has been scheduled for the upcoming two weeks.

    Our HR and Finance teams are actively working with each business unit to review unique staffing and scheduling situations. Please reach out to your direct manager or supervisor if you have any questions about how your schedule may be impacted.

    I look forward to providing you all with additional information related to scheduling/payroll as our approach evolves.

    Organizational impacts and other employee information, including the latest FAQ, will now be shared on a publicly available section of the Employee Hub:

    https://www.hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus .

    Halifax.ca (Municipal Updates – Employee Information)

    Thank you to everyone for your continued professionalism, support and community care.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    COVID-19 Updates

    Employee Support

    • If you, or a direct family member, are experiencing increased worry or anxiety, you can reach out to Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program.
    • Available 24/7, the access numbers are 902-466-3327 or 1-800-663-1142
    • Our partners in Human Resources are also here to help. You can contact MyHR@halifax.ca or phone 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services.

    Reach Out

    Do you have information that needs to be shared with all Municipal Employees?

    Reach out to our team:

    EmployeeBulletin@halifax.ca.


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  • Combined statement on COVID-19 from Mayor Savage and CAO Jacques Dubé – March 16, 2020

    17 Mar 2020

    Combined statement on COVID-19 from Mayor Savage and CAO Jacques Dubé – March 16, 2020

    Statement from Mayor Mike Savage

    Thank you for being here today.

    The Halifax Regional Municipality continues to monitor and respond to the rapidly evolving effects of

    COVID-19.

    This is an extraordinary time and we are taking extraordinary measures to get through this. And we will

    get through this.

    The health, safety and wellness of residents and employees is our priority and our focus.

    We are actively taking steps to mitigate impacts on municipal services while also helping to reduce the

    spread of the disease.

    We are working closely with government partners and following the guidance and recommendations

    from provincial and federal health agencies on COVID-19.

    CAO Jacques Dubé will go through operational details.

    First off, essential services such as police and fire are unaffected at this point. As always, we are very

    appreciative of their efforts.

    Halifax Transit, as well as all essential services of the municipality – including 311, fire and police – are

    operational and adhering to the most updated guidance and precautions from health officials.

    We’re also asking anyone who is feeling ill to please stay home and follow the advice of health

    professionals.

    I realized these times can cause much stress and anxiety. We’re all feeling the effects and you’re not

    alone.

    If you need to speak with someone, we encourage you reach out to friends, loved ones and colleagues.

    If you need additional support, you can call 2-1-1 to speak with someone who can help.

    I want to thank my council colleagues for all their work during this challenging time. I have been in

    contact with all of them, mostly by phone and they stand ready to continue to serve our citizens.

    Many Councillors are working to support vulnerable citizens and I know many other community leaders

    are doing the same.

    This is a time to take care of each other.

    I’m asking residents to reach out to your neighbours and help look after them in this time of need.

    In consultation with Deputy Mayor Lisa Blackburn and the CAO, we’ve cancelled next week’s Council

    meeting. There are some things we can manage in the short term and we’ll be making alternate plans as

    appropriate to handle the rest.

    Work on the budget is largely done, and other agenda items can be moved.

    Updates will continue to be provided regularly by myself and my colleagues at the municipality.

    Stay diligent and take care of one another. That is our way.

    We will get through this together.

    Lastly, I’d like to personally thank everyone for their well wishes over the past few days while my office

    was dealing with a potential COVID-19 case.

    We closed our office out of an abundance of caution.

    I’m pleased to confirm that me and my team have been cleared after several days of self-isolation.

    The EOC is set up here now, as needed our team of professionals is attending and working together as

    they always do.

    I have great confidence in them and thank them.

    I want to thank everyone in Nova Scotia – the provincial government here, Dr. Strang, Dr. Watson Creed,

    and Erica Fleck here at the EOC.

    Also want to thank partners like Ross Jefferson with Discover Halifax, and Patrick Sullivan at the

    Chamber of Commerce – there will significant financial hardship in the days and weeks to come.

    We must deal with health first – but we will support other orders of government in their work to

    support our citizens.

    I’m going to now hand it over to CAO Jacques Dubé to speak more specifically about municipal

    operational updates.

    Statement from CAO Jacques Dubé

    Thank you Mayor Savage.

    As the Mayor mentioned, we are committed to keeping our residents and employees safe.

    This means pulling together as a community to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    I want to thank all employees and our front-line staff in particular for your dedication to maintaining

    public services during this difficult time.

    The situation continues to change daily.

    As new information becomes available – from our provincial and federal health partners, as well as our

    10 business units and partners including Halifax Water and Halifax Public Libraries – we will continue to

    make adjustments to municipal services and brief the public on changes.

    At this time, the municipality is taking specific actions:

    I have directed all municipal employees who can work from home to do so.

    While Halifax Transit remains operating on a regular schedule, there are some service

    adjustments:

    · We have increased cleaning on all buses and ferries

    · Ferry capacity will now be limited to 150 passengers

    · All buses will be limited to seating passengers only

    We have also increased cleaning frequency in all municipal facilities.

    Municipally owned recreation facilities, centers and arenas will all close as of this evening until further notice.

    All in-person public engagement and events hosted by the municipality are postponed.

    All Halifax Public Library branches are closed until further notice.

    Halifax Water will maintain critical services.

    Waste collection will continue on a regular schedule.

    For those who are feeling unwell, we encourage you to stay home and avoid using Halifax Transit, as

    well as avoid all public facilities, when possible.

    For all the latest updates regarding the status of municipal services, please visit halifax.ca/coronavirus

    Our team will continue to update our website as more information becomes available and will continue

    to share these messages via our social media channels.

    Thank you.


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  • March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 Update (evening)

    17 Mar 2020

    Colleagues,

    As a follow up to my earlier email, I want to share with you the first edition of an FAQ for employees.

    As this document continues to evolve it will be updated and posted to our municipal intranet and hard copies will be placed at work locations where online access is limited.

    Thank you all for your patience as we work through additional details and decisions. We will continue to share more as the situation changes.

    You can contact MyHR@halifax.ca or phone 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services.

    For the latest health-related information on COVID-19, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada(External link) and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness(External link) websites.

    To access municipal service updates, please visit halifax.ca/coronavirus.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques


  • March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    17 Mar 2020

    Colleagues,

    I want you all to know that there’s nothing more important than your health, safety and wellbeing – and that of your loved ones.

    The situation with COVID-19 is new and uncharted territory for all of us. Our organization has tools to support you during this time.

    Our partners in Human Resources are also here to help. You can contact MyHR@halifax.ca or phone 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services.

    We’re listening to your concerns and questions and are committed to providing timely updates as this situation continues to evolve.

    This afternoon we’ll be emailing an FAQ to employees and posting it to our municipal intranet. This will also be posted at work locations where online access is limited.

    Let’s all do our best to support each other at this time. We are in this together.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Sent from my iPhone