COVID-19 Update – March 16

With the Nova Scotia’s Covid-19 response evolving quickly it is important that we have information that is coming from reliable sources. You are not alone if you are worried about the potential of coronavirus spreading within our City and Province, and we know that the impacts are being felt as school and daycares have closed, workers are being asked to work from home or not come into work, and by events being cancelled.

With the leadership of our chief medical officer of health, Nova Scotia’s Health Authority, and the Municipality’s Emergency Management Office, I am confident that together, we can respond appropriately to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

As we have already heard from Premier McNeil “Do not stock up for six months, this is the time to worry about your neighbour.” We are seeing the impacts in stores because of the fears of coronavirus, so it is important that you consider folks who many not be able to stock pile important items needed. Remember panic buying creates shortages in directly affects those who are low income and most vulnerable like our seniors.

There are many folks who are helping their neighbours and Councillor Mason provided information to groups who are looking to help in his March 16th update:

If you are aware of any groups or organization who are providing support please let me know, so their information can be added.

The Nova Scotia government coronavirus website has up-to-date information that outlines ways to reduce the chances of becoming ill from COVID-19, actions being taken across Nova Scotia, and much more information.

What is the Municipality doing to respond to COVID-19?

  • Halifax Transit has taken measures to help reduce the spread of disease, including an increased frequency in wipe-downs of high-touch surfaces, as well as making the first seat unavailable to riders. Effective Monday, March 16th passenger capacity on all ferries will be limited to 150 persons per trip. Additionally, buses will be limited to seating passengers only (standing passengers will not be permitted at this time). Transit services will continue to operate on a regular schedule.
  • Our Parks and Recreation department has decided, effective Tuesday, March 17th all municipally owned recreation facilities, community centres and arenas will be closed, and all programs and bookings will be suspended until further notice.
  • Effective March 16th, all branches of Halifax Public Libraries will be closed for 3 weeks, more info here.

You can stay up-to-date with the latest municipal government updates on COVID-19 here

Provincial COVID-19 update

  • Public health inspectors will be onsite at the Halifax International Airport and the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport.
  • Long-term care facilities closed to visitors effectively immediately
  • Public schools will be closed for two weeks following March Break (weeks of March 23 and March 30).
  • All licensed and unlicensed childcare providers are required to close starting March 17 through April 3.
  • Casinos in Halifax and Sydney are closing March 16th and bar owners can no longer operate VLTs
  • Organizations and businesses are required to practice social distancing of two metres (6 feet) and keep gatherings below 150 or much smaller, if possible. This applies to restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and other gathering spots.
  • Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre are limiting visitors to prevent the spread of any respiratory illness, including COVID-19.

Stay up-to-date with Provincial Government information

811: ONLY call if you have travelled abroad recently and are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

1-833-784-4397: all other Covid-19 questions (federal info line)

Halifax Regional Municipality

Nova Scotia Government

Government of Canada:

World Health Organization