- DANIELLE CAMERON
- HRM is taking measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus in the municipality.
After announcements from PM Trudeau and the province today, Halifax Regional Municipality’s mayor Mike Savage, CAO Jacques Dubé and Erica Fleck, division chief of emergency management with Halifax regional fire and emergency, gave an update.Things are changing rapidly—but here’s where HRM stands as of Monday afternoon.
1 All Halifax public library branches are closed. In-person events hosted by HRM at libraries are postponed, and online engagement will be available as much as possible. All current loans have been extended to six weeks—and the library is asking you not to return any books to the book drops at this time. Any fines accumulated during this time will be waived. The library has a ton of online apps you can use in the meantime to listen to audiobooks, read ebooks, watch movies, read magazines and more.[jump]
2 Starting tomorrow, all municipally owned recreation facilities, community centres and arenas will be closed. All room bookings and programming—from swimming lessons to pottery classes—are suspended until further notice.
3 Halifax Water has said it won’t shut off anyone's water. Disconnections for non-payment will be suspended during the next month, and anyone who is facing economic struggles that will affect their ability to pay their bill should contact email@example.com or 902-420-9287 talk about payment arrangements. (No word yet on if Nova Scotia Power will be doing a similar thing.)
4 Aligned with the province’s Sunday announcement, all March Break camps are cancelled. HRM staff are asking that residents hold off on contacting HRM about cancelled camps and programs so they can work on urgent issues—they’ll be in touch about refunds and postponing soon (sooner if they aren’t bombarded with requests before having time to figure out a plan).
5Halifax Transit is still running, with ferries capped at a capacity of 150 and buses limited to seating only. (With many people working from home, it’s expected there will be reduced ridership, so no additional buses have been added as of yet.) To protect drivers, the first seat on the bus is off-limits.
6Municipal staff who can work from home have been asked to do so—including councillors and mayor Savage. The regional council meeting scheduled for March 17 has been cancelled
Garbage collection will continue as normal for now.
"It is not too much too soon, we are doing everything we can,” said division chief of emergency management Fleck at the press conference. “Everybody across the world has said they wished they had started sooner”
Come back here or check with NS public health for the latest reliable updates. In the meantime, wash your hands, cover your cough, wipe commonly used surfaces and stay home if you feel sick.