COVID Updates

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Information for faculty and staff

Posted by Dalhousie University on March 17, 2020 in News

To:                   Dalhousie faculty and staff

From:              Teri Balser, Provost and Vice-President Academic
                       Ian Nason, Vice-President Finance and Administration

Date:               Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Re:                   COVID-19 update #6: Information for faculty and staff

Over the past several days, we’ve all had to learn to work together a little differently. We’ve heard numerous stories about the above-and-beyond efforts of faculty and staff during this unprecedented situation, and we thank all of you for your incredible efforts.

We are reaching out today to all faculty and staff (including research employees) with details of how we’re working to support you and your work at Dalhousie. The details below have also previously been shared with leaders across the university. Please consult with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have additional questions.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, the university remains open. However, in keeping with public health recommendations around social distancing, we are encouraging all faculty and staff who are able to work from home to do so provided that arrangements and approvals are made with department heads, supervisors or their delegates.

  • Employees who are self-isolated but otherwise able to work from home are expected to do so.
  • It is expected that, to the extent possible, anyone working remotely will maintain a normal workload. We recognize this is a challenging time, and certain aspects of our broader community’s response to COVID-19, such as school and daycare closures, could impact the ability of employees to work. Supervisors should make every effort to be flexible in the circumstances.
  • Working from home may require access to appropriate technology. Visit the ITS website (login required) for information about working from home. Speak with your department head, supervisor or their delegate if you have questions about how best to transfer your workstation into a home environment.
  • Despite our collective best efforts, there is no way a situation such as this can ever truly be business as usual. Consider what work is most essential to continue. Take breaks, look after yourself and stay healthy.
  • Employees who are sick will not be required to provide medical documentation or sick notes. Such leaves will be with pay. This time will not be taken from an employee’s vacation or sick leave bank.
  • Finally, this is a stressful time for many in our community. Remember that Dalhousie’s Employee and Family Assistance Program is there for you to access at any time. Do not hesitate to reach out if you need support: 1-800-387-4765, https://www.workhealthlife.com/

It takes all kinds of people, in all kinds of roles, to bring our university mission to life. And it takes all those same people, working together, to make the kinds of rapid, large-scale changes being required of Dalhousie this week. In uncertain times, your support for Dalhousie and your dedication to your work remain constant. We recognize and appreciate the impact of these circumstances on you and your families. Thank you for stepping up, bringing your best under less-than-ideal circumstances, and continuing your vital contributions to our community.

Sincerely,

Teri Balser
Provost and Vice-President Academic

Ian Nason
Vice-President Finance and Administration