COVID Home | Government ResponseIndividuals & FamiliesBusiness | Links to Resources | Latest COVID Updates

Contents of this page
(updated Sept 12, 2020)


The following pages are here to provide some resources for common challenges I am hearing about from residents around Halifax.  This resource is designed to be read like a book, you can scan down each section, and at the bottom of the page, there is a link to the next page in this section.  If you need specific info you can also find it using the navigation bars at the top of the page.

As always, if you have some information you think should be added, or notice something that is out of date, or need information about something I have not covered, please email me, I would love to hear from you.

What we need to keep doing

In March we first heard the idea that we need to “flatten the curve”, measures have to be taken before the virus hits us.

To be effective, it will look like we are overreacting. We are going to look like we are overreacting. 

Our  goal as a community is to slow the spread of the virus, to try and better match health care system capacity to the number of urgent cases. Everyone will need to do their part.

  • do wash your hands with soap and warm water very frequently
  • do physical (social) distance – stand 2m or more away from people in the streets, shops, and work
  • do call 811 if you are having any of these COVID symptoms –
  • do listen to public health directives and follow instructions – info here
  • do not leave your home for any reason for 14 days if you have travelled outside the Atlantic Bubble (domestic or international)

Please sign up for hfxALERT,  the new mass notification system for the municipality, keeping residents informed about emergencies and operations updates. hfxALERT will send urgent and non-urgent notifications and is now being used to send COVID-19 related updates.  Sign up today.

What is flattening the curve?

Flatten the Curve

As we have all been tweeting the last two weeks we need to do this in order to “flatten the curve”, measures must continue to be taken.

The goal is to slow the spread of the virus, to try and better match the health care system capacity to the number of urgent cases. Everyone will need to do their part.

The key ways to do this are social distancing, washing your hands, and not leaving your house unless it is for work, obtaining supplies, or walking around your neighbourhood for exercise.

Physical or Social Distancing – what it is and what it isn’t

Dr Strang had some strong words about what social distancing is, and that it is not appropriate to harass or publicly shame people who are have travelled because they left their homes:

There is a misunderstanding. All of us need to be social distancing, whether we’ve traveled or not. It’s physical distancing to reduce chance of virus spreading. It’s working from home, it’s why we’re closing things down. We ALL need to do this.

This article in the Washington Post has animation that shows “Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”.  It shows the impact on slowing the spread if people practice “social distancing” by avoiding public spaces and generally limiting their movement.

Operating Room staff at the Halifax Infirmary wants you to stay home.

Self isolation, shelter in place, limiting trips, and social distancing, and washing hands don’t just make you safer, it makes it safer for those that have to go to work, from the folks at the grocery store who are keeping us fed, to the health professionals, doctors, nurses and pharmacists who are providing essential services, to anyone who still has to go to work.

When you stay home, limit trips and self isolate as required, you make everyone who still has to work safer, including my colleagues at HRM.

Advice for employers and community groups

The province also advises employers to support your employees if they need to stay home, talk with your employees about flexible hours or alternative work arrangements, consider limiting events. Businesses need to have a business continuity plan in place.  There is more information for business in the upcoming business section.

Washing your hands

Washing with soap and water is the way to slow the spread of germs – rubbing hands together removes visible dirt and germs.  There a million videos about how to wash your hands now, I like this one – wash your hands like a surgeon!

Hand sanitizer is not as effective as soap and water. Find a song that you know the lyrics for and sing it for 20-30 seconds (Prince’s Raspberry Beret is mine) The provincial handwashing poster can be downloaded here

What to do if you think you have COVID-19

Non-essential calls to 811 make it more difficult for people to reach help when they actually need it. If you develop #COVID19 symptoms, complete the online self-assessment at

DO NOT CALL 811 unless you have develop a fever, with a temperature 38°C or higher, or a cough.

If you have been experiencing issues calling 811 from a cell or internet (voip) phone, please call the toll-free number 1-866-770-7763 to be redirected to 811.


Next page -> Government Response