CDS/DM Directive on DND/CAF Reopening Strategy (summer 2021 posture)
Table of Contents
- Concept of Support
- Annex A – Glossary – Lexicon
- Annex B – Public Health Measures and Personal Protective Equipment Decision Tool
- Annex C - Defence Team Workplace Scalable Posture
- Annex D – DND/CAF PHM Adjustment Guide
- CDS/DM Directive for the Resumption of Sustained Activities in a COVID-19 Environment (Spring 2021 Posture), 19 March 2021
- VCDS Directive for DND/CAF COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT) campaign, 28 May 2021
- Defence Team FAQs on COVID-19 online at: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/campaigns/covid-19/resuming-work/frequently-asked-questions.html
- National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive
- Treasury Board (TB) Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures
- CANFORGEN 102/20 Leave- Entitlements and Usage in a Pandemic Environment, 23 July 2020
- CANFORGEN 152/20 – Use of Special Leave for Quarantine Purposes: Domestic Travel or Travel to Another Country from Canada
- CANFORGEN 153/20 – Use of Special Leave for Quarantine Purposes: OUTCAN Travel
- CANFORGEN 154/20 – Amendments to CANFORGEN 152/20 CMP 072/20 201809z Nov 20 Use of Special Leave For Quarantine Purposes: Domestic Travel or Travel to Another Country From Canada
- Canadian Forces Leave Policy Manual
- Travel Restriction in Canada – Mandatory quarantine or isolation, and exemptions https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/isolation#exemptions
- CANFORGEN 035/21 – Domestic Relocation Planning in Relation to COVID-19 (APS 2021)
- CANFORGEN 034/21 – OUTCAN Relocation Planning in Relation to COVID-19 (APS 2021)
- (U) Application
- Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous directives have been issued to the Defence Team to preserve force health and to ensure our ability to defend and assist Canada and Canadians. In that time, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have been instrumental to the COVID-19 response and vaccine roll-out operations of the Government of Canada (GC). Meanwhile, we recognize the incredible impacts of this disease on literally every facet of life to include our wellness, economy, geopolitical tension, and intense demands for social change. As leaders and managers, we must understand that the effects of the pandemic are not always visible or understood, and may have long-term impacts on the health and well-being of our members and employees. In addition, the pandemic has impacted certain groups differently and disproportionately;
- In that context, this directive provides a framework by which the Defence Team can begin to adapt to these changes together, and over time transition to a post-pandemic workplace more resilient than we were before. To that effect, for the purpose of brevity and enhancing direction to the Defence Team, the concept of stages and phases at reference (ref) A has been replaced by new decision support tools to inform Defence Team Workplace Scalable Posture. Additional changes also include amendments regarding duty and non-duty travel and the implementation of Rapid Antigen Detection Testing (RADT) as part of our layered risk mitigation strategies (LRMS); and
- This directive supersedes ref A. It applies to all employees of the DND and any persons granted access to Defence establishments in accordance with the Defence Controlled Access Area Regulations. It is an order that applies to all officers and non-commissioned members of the CAF, and it serves as a guide to the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) in the resumption of activities in support of CAF priorities.
- (U) General
- International. Globally, case numbers remain high as a result of unequal access to the limited worldwide vaccine supply, the higher transmissibility of variant of concern (VOC), and lapses and/or early relaxation of public health measures (PHMs). In addition, surges of the disease continue to be experienced asymmetrically by region – most recently in Asia and Latin America – and may continue to occur in this manner until much higher percentages of the worldwide population are vaccinated;
- Domestic. After a particularly gruelling third wave in Canada that required CAF to support regional health systems, transmission rates have dropped to levels not seen since October 2020. The cadence of the domestic vaccine roll-out has concurrently intensified, thus protecting more Canadians and mitigating the spread of mutated VOCs. During the summer of 2021, it is expected the status of fully-vaccinated persons within the general population across Canada will be asymmetric, and VOCs will continue to circulate with ebbs and flows in the infection rates. Accordingly, changes in PHMs and restrictions will occur more slowly in some jurisdictions than in others;
- Members of the Defence Team are leading at home, at work, and in our communities by getting vaccinated and enforcing PHMs. To date, over 90% of Regular Force members of the CAF has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and DND colleagues continue to access it both through the public health system and via CAF Health Services for personnel serving on operations. Building on this tremendous success, DND/CAF will again show leadership by strengthening our LRMS until COVID-19 no longer poses a threat to our nation;
- The pandemic has demonstrated that with innovation and technology, there is much that can be accomplished through a dispersed and remote workplace; however, not all tasks can be successfully accomplished this way. For teammates that must physically attend the workplace, RADT has been added to our COVID-19 toolkit as per ref B; and
- COVID-19 will continue to affect the country in an asymmetric way, influenced by multiple factors, including, but not limited to, geography, vaccination rates, and travel. Managers and supervisors will need to take into consideration many factors in planning the transition of their workforce to post-pandemic realities, including the composition of the workforce; local PHMs; the requirement for in-person presence; the fit of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and non-medical masks (NMMs) to account for a variety of sizes; infrastructure changes that may impact gender inclusivity and disabled accessibility; mental health challenges that require increased support services and flexibility by leaders and managers; and prevention of racism related to COVID-19. Further, consideration should also be given to variations in the ability of Defence Team members to fully resume job responsibilities or return to the office based on factors such as dependent care responsibilities, mental and physical health conditions that may or may not qualify them as high risk/vulnerable employees/members, public transit limitations, and their ability or inability to be fully vaccinated.
- (U) Lexicon. The technical medical nature of the COVID-19 crisis has required the use of standardized terminology that has been developed through this directive as well as a number of preceding directives. The updated lexicon currently approved for use is provided at Annex A.
- (U) Problem Definition. The fundamental pandemic-related challenge confronting DND/CAF moving forward will be the responsible resumption of activities, while at once continuing to model the application of PHMs and LRMS, and accounting for the needs of specific individuals that must continue to operate in a dispersed manner.
- (U) Threat Assessment
- The greatest threat to DND/CAF in the short term is complacency towards the vigilant practice of PHMs and application of the DND/CAF LRMS. This is especially true given the prospect of achieving sufficient immunity to allow for the transition to a semblance of the pre-pandemic way of life following multiple lockdowns and extended separation from our social networks. Yet, for the next several months, Canada will remain in a challenging situation where a portion of the population has been vaccinated, while at the same time more transmissible VOCs, against which a single dose vaccine may not provide full protection, have become the prevalent strains. Internationally, many countries will lag behind Canada in their vaccination rates, and as a result it is likely that more transmissible VOCs will continue to emerge and circulate. It is critical that until public health advice permits a reduction in the use of PHMs, every member of the Defence Team continue to apply PHMs, including the use of NMMs, to protect ourselves, our colleagues, and the broader Canadian population; and
- The mental health strain on the Defence Team and our families caused by spending over a year living through a global pandemic with all its associated risks and social limitations, cannot be under-estimated. DND/CAF must remain vigilant for signs of mental stress within Defence Team members and be supportive of those who are exhibiting signs of such stresses. We must continue to identify and utilize best practices and strategies for the reduction of negative impacts on our members, our employees, and their families.
- (U) Assumptions
- Those individuals who have been the most called-upon to support the nation and the institution through the pandemic, namely essential workers and healthcare providers, will need time and understanding to recuperate from the risks and the challenges they have faced during the crisis;
- The roll out and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines to CAF members will progress quickly, ahead of the wide-spread uptake of the vaccines by non-CAF members, who are subject to provincial and territorial (P/T) mandated vaccine dose interval periods;
- Notwithstanding the likelihood of the Defence Team achieving high COVID-19 vaccination uptake rates, the risk of transmission of the SAR-CoV-2 virus and its VOCs will remain; and
- The production capacity for approved vaccines will be one of the most important factors in fighting the virus. Until a majority of the world’s population has been vaccinated, the pandemic will remain an ongoing threat.
- (U) Limitations
- All applicable Treasury Board policies and the Canada Labour Code, Part II will be followed by DND employees. All applicable National Joint Council Directives and collective agreements will be followed by both DND employees and CAF members who supervise DND employees;
- DND/CAF will continue to issue the clothing and equipment necessary to Defence Team members in accordance with DAOD 2007-1 General Safety Program, and established DND/CAF policy;
- Defence Team members who use Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) mandated non-medical PPE in the conduct of their normal duties (non-COVID-19 related) will continue to do so in accordance with existing direction. This directive will augment and not replace those standards;
- Specific COVID-19 policy for DND will be developed collaboratively with the National Health and Safety Policy Committee;
- Effective communication with Defence Team members is essential to establish an understanding of the impacts and mitigations necessary to return to the workplace and to outline the expectations for their return, the mandatory training required of them, and the PHMs that are in place and with which they will abide. National and local union consultation will need to occur a minimum of 14 days prior to the return of members of the civilian workforce to the workplace;
- CAF members will adhere to P/T, regional, municipal, and host nation restrictions unless required and authorized to do otherwise. CAF members will adhere to federal restrictions unless operational requirements required to do otherwise and Senior Medical Authority (SMA) advice indicates exemption is appropriate for the execution of a specific duty or activity. The level of authority to authorize these exemption is the level 1 (L1) (can be delegated no lower than L3). For members serving OUTCAN, direction on public health measures will be provided by their Regional Authorities (RA);
- When reporting cases of individuals potentially affected by COVID-19, the necessary precautions will be taken to protect the privacy of CAF members and DND employees through strict adherence to the provisions of the Privacy Act. When there is a need to balance the right to privacy versus the need to protect the broader force, this should be done in consultation with the local legal advisor and SMA, where appropriate;
- Persons granted access to Defence Establishments, who are not DND employees or CAF members (e.g., third party contractors), must follow the necessary PHMs and wear NMMs as required to meet the standards established in this directive;
- CAF members will remain under military command at all times;
- All specific COVID-19 related occupational and safety direction for DND/CAF will be developed collaboratively with the National Health and Safety Policy Committee and with local Work Place Health and Safety Committees; and
- The DND/CAF COVID-19 RADT Program will occur in accordance with ref B.
- With the exception of MPC and ADM(DRDC), L1s will not procure medical-grade PPE;
- DND/CAF shall not procure any supplies, materiel, or equipment for providing health services support to civil authorities, except as directed by the Minister of National Defence (MND);
- No Information Operation activities will be executed/ authorized under Op LASER, Op VECTOR, or any domestic operation;
- This directive will not apply inside Residential Housing Units (RHU) administered by Canadian Forces Housing Authority unless conducting official DND/CAF business or functions;
- Defence Team members will not report for work/duty if they have symptoms of COVID-19. DND employees and CAF members will follow applicable public health guidelines in their municipality and P/T with respect to self-assessment by using the GC COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool at https://ca.thrive.health/covid19. CAF members will additionally follow direction from their local Health Service Centers on how best to access care; and
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms will not be granted access to Defence establishments, unless they live on the Defence Establishment, or are present at the Defence Establishment to obtain medical services.
- (U) DND/CAF will innovate and adapt in order to thrive in a persistent COVID-19 environment, while continuing to provide and support combat-effective, multi-purpose forces to protect Canada and Canadians at home and abroad.
- (U) Concept of Operations
- CDS/DM Intent. The recent increase in the Canadian vaccination campaign, enabled in part by the tireless work of Defence Team members, is cause for optimism and hope. DND/CAF is now in a position to gradually increase presence in the workplace, resume additional activities, lower travel restrictions, and moderate PHMs, while ensuring that the protection of the physical and mental health of the Defence Team and Canadians remains our priority. Acknowledging that the COVID-19 situation will vary by region, L1 leaders are empowered to resume and constrain activities asymmetrically as long as SMA advice is sought, appropriate consultation with RA is completed, and mitigation measures are effectively communicated. The decision support tools at Annexes B and C will help to inform leader decisions related to the application of PHMs and LRMS throughout the DND/CAF organization. The following factors will be considered in the decision making process of stopping and resuming activities and determining the adequate level of PHMs:
- P/T, regional, and local public health and safety advice regarding the reopening of schools, workplaces, and group gathering activities;
- Regional and local COVID-19 case rates;
- Regional and local COVID-19 vaccination rates;
- Prevalence of COVID-19 within the local setting; and
- SMA advice
- Guiding Principles. In addition to the factors listed above, the following principles are intended to guide L1 leader decisions related to the stoppage and resumption of Defence Team activities:
- Protect the physical and mental health, safety, and wellness of our personnel, recognizing that the pandemic continues to impact groups in varying ways. Be mindful of the mental health stress imposed on all Defence Team members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Remain aware and responsive to individual Defence Team members’ personal challenges and limitations resulting from the pandemic, and positioning the Defence Team for a more hybrid approach to workplace arrangements in the future;
- Notwithstanding COVID-19 transmission rates, DND/CAF will ensure unfettered continuity of operations for critical capabilities and services to include designated operational force elements (e.g., SAR, NORAD, SOF IRTF, enhanced readiness forces, expeditionary operations, cyber assurance, etc.), military support and advice to Government, command and control, intelligence, public affairs and communications, financial/legal support to force employment, international relations and support to allies, casualty management, and essential supply chain activities. As rates of infection fluctuate, L1s may need to take extraordinary steps to preserve force health;
- The COVID-19 situation will vary by region. L1 leaders are empowered to resume and constrain activities asymmetrically as long as force health is never compromised, DND/CAF PHMs and LRMS are applied, appropriate consultation with RA is completed, and mitigation measures are effectively communicated;
- Leaders at all levels are to consult CAF Health Services clinicians and experts to inform the application of LRMS;
- The following factors will inform L1 decisions about the stoppage and resumption of activities:
- Health status of Defence Team members which could be adversely affected by COVID-19;
- Health status of Defence Team dependents which could be adversely affected by COVID-19;
- Presence at home of dependants under active care of Defence Team members during expected work hours;
- Availability of community services and social infrastructure to include daycare, the operation of schools, and public transportation;
- Availability of internet and telecommunications bandwidth and the ability to access records and files; and
- Accessibility of digitally enabling tools and digital devices.
- Maintain a focus on wellness, inclusion, and diversity by using Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to identify employees’ experiences based on their various identity factors (i.e., age, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, etc);
- Monitor the health of all Defence Team members and supporting organizations within the workplace with strict adherence to privacy legislation. Defence Team members must report immediately to their supervisors if they believe that they have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19 and they must comply with public health directed testing and isolation/quarantine procedures; and
- Continue to build the resilience and sustainability of DND/CAF by leveraging digital infrastructure investments.
- Scheme of Manoeuvre
- Phase 1 – Start State (Ongoing). L1s will ensure that CAF members and DND employees continue to adhere to the full spectrum of PHMs outlined in Annex B. This phase will end once L1s, in conjunction with their SMAs, have determined the appropriate Defence Team Workplace Scalable Posture for their Bases and Wings in accordance with Annex C. Following the transition to Phase 2, the framework at Annex B is to no longer remains in effect; and
- Phase 2 – Reopening and Defence Team Workplace Scalable Posture. Conditional on COVID-19 local prevalence, L1s, in conjunctions with their SMAs, will adapt their workplace posture by determining the appropriate Defence Team Workplace Scalable Posture for their Bases and Wings in accordance with Annex C. The posture may be raised whenever prevalence rises; or reduced when prevalence has remained below the preceding threshold for at least two weeks, and must be informed by SMA advice. In addition, L1s, in consultation with their SMAs, may also adjust the posture for specific groups. The SMA will inform its recommendation based on the guide at Annex D.
- Priorities. The following priorities are not listed in order of importance nor do they preclude the execution of those critical or core L1 activities not contained within the list. The intent of these priorities is to make clear where the weight of effort will be applied when there is a synchronization or capacity conflict:
- Enabling Priorities
- Ensure all members of the Defence Team who wish to receive a full series of COVID-19 vaccines are provided the opportunity to do so, either directly to eligible CAF members through the CAF medical system, or by facilitating time off for DND employees or CAF members who do not receive health care through the CAF system to attend vaccination appointments;
- Continue to support Defence Team members’ personal circumstances by, wherever possible, remaining flexible on adapting work arrangements, dependent on the team’s type of work and the individual’s work description;
- As possible, resume and/or continue individual and collective training in support of deployed operations and high readiness contingency forces;
- Further develop and refine PHM requirements and implement them;
- Procure and implement CAF COVID-19 independent testing capabilities, refine and implement CAF contact tracing, and other protocols that further protect DND/CAF going forward;
- Identify and implement additional capacity and processes for remote work;
- Expand Defence Supply Chain operations to support all CAF fleets, and to include the procurement of additional stocks of PPE;
- Continue to execute all aspects of the intelligence function; and
- Continue medium-term planning and assessment of the way forward for Strong, Secure, Engaged.
- DND/CAF Priorities (Outputs)
- Continued performance of activities mandated by legislation, regulation or court order, and compliance with prescribed deadlines;
- Execute all obligatory activities in compliance with ongoing litigation;
- Remain responsive to the evolving GC agenda, and Cabinet, Parliamentary, and Senate committees and processes;
- Increase financial management activities to capture COVID-19 expenditure impacts and ensure sufficient cash flow throughout the business resumption period;
- Resume force generation (FG) training in support of deployed operations and high readiness contingency forces;
- Conduct collective training critical to the conduct of deployed operations and high readiness contingency forces;
- Conduct Decentralized Basic Military Qualification courses and resume additional individual training as soon as practicable; and
- Execute ongoing domestic and international operations.
- (U) Tasks
- Common to all L1s/FGs
- Continue to enable the Defence Team to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine if they so choose. The vaccine is one of the most important PHMs available, and the surest route to decreased restrictions in the workplace will be maximum uptake of COVID-19 vaccines;
- Collect, consolidate, and share lessons learned in preparation to update the business continuity plans (BCP) with specific focus on observations related to BCP, the application of PHMs, use of digital tools for command and control, activation protocols, preparation for COVID-19 specific employment (e.g., long term care facilities and Indigenous communities), use of rapid and operational COVID-19 testing, and conducting a vaccination surge campaign;
- Continually assess the status of resumption efforts by region, and be prepared to constrain and/or resume activities as needed;
- Keep Defence Team members and their families apprised of developments related to the pandemic including any changes to the application of PHMs at the local level. Leverage and promote national-level communications tools and resources where appropriate to ensure consistency and effective distribution at every level while avoiding duplication;
- In coordination with CFMWS, develop plans for the resumption of morale and welfare services, such recreational facilities for wellness, fitness training/testing, and messes;
- Ensure that GBA+ analysis as it relates to COVID-19 impacts on Canadians, and in particular, Defence Team members, informs the gradual resumption of activities and remote work arrangements. GBA+ analysis should be conducted regularly to inform decision making given the rapidly changing environment. Findings and planning issues should be shared amongst L1s to support identification of common trends or issues that may require a strategic level response, or that could be useful for projecting considerations over different phases of resumption of activities. GBA+ and preliminary lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis will also inform the identification of potential new measures or policies to mitigate medium to longer term risks/negative impacts on operations and the careers of particular groups in DND/CAF;
- Ensure Real Property (infrastructure) considerations are incorporated into planning processes for implementation of L1 capabilities and future flexible working arrangements to accommodate both in person and virtual options;
- In an effort to continue effective management of a hybrid workforce in a post pandemic environment, CAF members and DND employees with a flexible or hybrid work arrangement must submit a new or revised flexible work arrangement for approval by their supervisor or manager; and
- Provide support to employees and encourage them to consider using some of their earned vacation leave over the summer months. Managers should continue to emphasize with their employees the importance of leave and its influence on their mental health and work-life balance and to approve leave as requested, pending operational requirements.
- As the DND/CAF OHS Functional Authority (FA), provide updates to COVID-19 specific PHM, PPE, NMM, and RADT guidance to the Defence Team as needed in coordination with the CAF Surgeon General;
- Liaise with the Health Canada COVID-19 Testing Secretariat to ensure the DND/CAF application of RADT is consistent in approach to the application of RADT across the GC;
- Maintain reporting mechanisms on COVID-19 impacts including number of possible and known cases of COVID-19 for members assigned OUTCAN;
- In consultation with the SMA, RA will review LRMS and PHMs applied to OUTCAN members;
- Monitor and advise on OUTCAN Defence Team members and their families as it pertains to their health and safety in a pandemic environment in the various host nation environments they are serving in;
- Issue additional direction regarding Home Leave Travel Assistance (HLTAs) based on advice from the SMA; and
- Obtain and disseminate GC and Treasury Board direction on conditions required to begin increasing the permitted workforce capacity in the Defence Team workplace.
- CJOC – Op LASER Supported Commander
- Maintain reporting mechanisms on COVID-19 impacts including number of possible and known cases of COVID-19 for members assigned to CJOC-led operations;
- In consultation with the SMA, review LRMS and PHMs applied to the operational operations;
- Issue additional direction regarding HLTAs based on advice from the SMA; and
- Inform strategic level understanding and knowledge through regional/P/T atmospherics of RJTF’s regional partners.
- Maintain reporting mechanisms on COVID-19 impacts including number of possible and known cases of COVID-19 for members assigned to CANSOFCOM-led operations;
- In consultation with the SMA, review LRMS and PHMs applied to the operational operations; and
- Issue additional direction regarding HLTAs based on advice from the SMA.
- Continue to remain engaged at the federal echelon with whole-of-government emergency management stakeholders to ensure GC and DND/CAF planning remains aligned, equitable, responsive, and communicated to all L1s through the Standing strategic operations planning group (SOPG) on COVID-19; and
- Coordinate the synchronization and harmonization of health force protection measures as they are implemented by L1s.
- Maintain situational awareness of national and regional trends in COVID-19 transmission and impacts. Advise the chain of command of indications for likely recommendations from public health officials to either increase or decrease the use of restrictive PHMs;
- Continue the development of the evidence and science based decision tools that will be used to assist SMA and CAF leadership in decisions on the resumption of activities, particularly within the operational environment, where the key indicator of CAF vaccination levels can be determined;
- Provide ongoing advice to L1s to help them understand and mitigate COVID-19 risks. Develop medically informed regression considerations to provide advice to L1s if clusters and resurgences materialize, and considerations for easing of restrictions as the workforce becomes increasingly protected through vaccination; and
- Continue to provide guidance and medical advice for House Hunting Trips and APS 2021/2022 move benefits as well as medical advice for other travel requirements.
- CFINTCOM. Continue to monitor the global COVID-19 situation and provide situational awareness to the CAF, including advice to the force generators regarding force protection measures, training events, and exercises, and advice to the force employers regarding international COVID-19 threats and epidemic trends;
- Continue to increase and optimize IT/IM solutions to enable remote work up to Protected B;
- Accelerate development work on IT/IM solutions to enable remote work on classified systems up to Level II;
- Undertake development work to provide reliable cloud-based access to systems of record; and
- Be prepared to implement IT/IM solutions to optimize a more hybrid workforce posture in the post-pandemic timeframe.
- Ensure all Defence Establishment infrastructure is prepared for activity resumption with a gradual increase in the percentage of persons in the workplace, while acknowledging the need to ensure the capacity to allow for a blended approach to a return to work posture that enables flexibility to meet individual needs; and
- Conduct an analysis regarding DND/CAF infrastructure requirements based on the potential hybrid workforce in the post-pandemic timeframe.
- ADM(Mat). BPT provide procurement and contracting support for additional PPE or other protective elements required to protect individuals against COVID-19 to enable an increased workplace presence;
- Through engagement with the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO), ensure civilian personnel policies during transition are communicated and continue to be reflective of Federal Public Service business resumption considerations;
- Provide direction and guidance to, and support for, employees and managers on implementing flexible work arrangements in a post pandemic posture and on managing a hybrid workforce;
- Continue to lead the consultation with national unions on the implementation of resumption activities as it pertains to DND employees; and
- Provide guidance on the management of those civilian members who may be challenged or are unable to return to the workplace due to their personal circumstances.
- ADM(DIA). Maintain and enforce data governance associated with the monitoring and reporting of workforce capacity elements on the civilian workforce including appropriate privacy and security controls;
- ADM(Fin)/CFO. Continue to capture and analyze the costs related to operations and functions undertaken during the DND/CAF response to COVID-19 to include costs related to the DND/CAF COVID-19 RADT campaign; and
- Continue to provide strategic level communication guidance, messaging and coordination consistent with GC direction, to support internal Defence Team communication and to maintain the confidence of Canadians in the Defence Team response to the pandemic; and
- Continue to work with L1s, including ADM(HR-Civ), and MPC, to lead a Defence Team engagement communications plan and supporting products. These products shall address return to work conditions and provide resources accessible to CAF members and DND employees within an evergreen repository of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs at ref C) derived from the Ask Anything: COVID-19 inbox, the answers for which will be coordinated through functional authorities. Communications plans and products will be shared with L1 organizations for dissemination and promotion throughout their respective networks and communications channels.
- (U) Coordinating Instructions
- Defence Team Workplace Scalable Posture. L1s (can be delegated no lower than L3s) will determine the adequate level of workplace posture for their respective bases and wings in accordance with Annex C. The decision to elect a specific posture will be informed by SMA advice and by the prevalence (number of cases of an infection that is occurring in a defined population) of COVID-19 in the vicinity of the base/wing. In addition, L1s on their respective Bases/Wings may adjust PHMs for specific groups / activities after carefully taking into account the factors at Annex D. Informed by SMA advice, adjustments to PHMs shall be communicated to the specific groups and monitored for indicators for a requirement to revert a previous workplace posture level. As required, decisions will be discussed at the SJS COVID-19 Standing SOPG to ensure de-confliction/risk mitigation between L1s where the desire to undertake activities necessitates support from enabling entities (e.g. industry, civilian support, maintenance, etc.). Likewise, comprehensive coordination is required for activities on Bases/Wings with multiple L1 Lodger Units, with the base and wing parent L1 retaining overall coordination authority;
- Commanders’ Critical Information Requirements (CCIRs) and Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIRs)
- Incidents of outbreaks or resurgence in the immediate locale of Defence Establishments or amongst members of the Defence Team;
- Any refusals to work where it cannot be resolved internally to an L1;
- Any network wide degradation of capacity to work remotely for a period that extends beyond four hours. This includes disruption of telecommunications, networks, and remote accessibility of SharePoint, network drives, systems of record, and critical operating systems for the management of personnel and projects;
- Supply chain or defence industry disruptions with the potential to affect activities and operations;
- Allied/partner nation and host nation outbreak clusters threatening deployed CAF members;
- OUTCAN host nation actions/inactions or access to medical facilities that could be hazardous to OUTCAN members;
- Any P/T or remote/northern communities threatened by supply chain challenges, staff shortages, equipment deficiencies and/or capacity to support the population, including CAF members and their families;
- Any changes to local, municipal, P/T restrictions that prevent the CAF from completing its assigned tasks, from generating forces, or from supporting forces;
- Any federal/P/T emergency management agencies at risk by virtue of COVID-19 related causes;
- Communities that are directly threatened by weather events, or are at risk of being cut off/isolated due to weather events and/or disruption of sea, air, and land lines of communication;
- Any indications of P/T and/or municipal security/law enforcement services at risk due to illness or absenteeism;
- Any regional or local workforce shortages that threaten the resumption activities or could require a federal surge response;
- Any lack of Health Services enablers, PHM, and social services programs that threaten the resumption of activities or could predicate a federal surge response;
- Canadian populations abroad at risk and could require repatriation to Canada;
- Any degradation of private sector capacity threatening the delivery of transportation, essential services and supplies to P/T and remote/northern communities; and
- Any essential services and supply chains that are facing critical shortages, pressures, and/or are at risk of disruption.
- DND/CAF Domestic Travel
- Domestic Travel – DND Employees Work-Related. Domestic (i.e. including travel within Canada, or travel wholly within a country other than Canada) work-related travel for DND employees may be approved through the pre COVID-19 pandemic process used in DND/CAF provided that the starting, destination, and any countries transited do not restrict such travel. P/T, regional, municipal and host nation restrictions will be adhered to. The level of authority to authorize such travel is to be determined by the L1 and in accordance with refs D and E; and
- Domestic Travel – CAF Members Duty-Related. Domestic (i.e. including travel within Canada, or travel wholly within a country other than Canada) duty-related travel for CAF members may be approved through the pre COVID-19 pandemic process used in DND/CAF provided that the starting, destination, and any countries transited do not restrict such travel. P/T, regional, municipal and host nation restrictions will be adhered to. However, within Canada, CAF members may be required to do otherwise in the authorized execution of a specific duty, where specific advice has been sought on the activity. The level of authority to authorize such travel is to be determined by the L1 and in accordance with refs D and E.
- Domestic Travel for Compassionate Reasons. In accordance with QR&O 16.17, and refs F, G and H, domestic travel for compassionate reasons will continue to be applied as per QR&O 16.17. Mandatory self-isolation or quarantine leave will be granted in accordance with ref J, 5.17 Special Leave (COVID-19 Mandatory Quarantine) to account for the time in quarantine. This does not entitle members to reimbursement of expenses incurred during this period. Compassionate leave may be used to account for the member’s quarantine period. If approved, the application of Compassionate Travel Assistance is limited to the provisions of CBI 209.51. The level of approval for domestic travel for compassionate reasons is to be set by L1s in accordance with ref J; and
- Domestic House Hunting Trips (HHTs)/ Destination Inspection Trips (DITs). Notwithstanding direction provided at ref L, HHTs/DITs are permitted only to those destinations where there are no quarantine requirements at destination and, when applicable, quarantine can be completed upon return to origin within the member’s principal residence. However, a member may proceed on an HHT/DIT unaccompanied if there is an exemption for travel in place that permits a military member travelling for the performance of military duties not to quarantine on arrival and, when applicable, quarantine can be completed upon return to origin within the member’s principal residence. Any testing or other requirements associated with that exemption must be followed. HHTs after change of strength (COS) remains an option if travel restrictions do not permit a member and their dependents to conduct a HHT before COS.
- Domestic Travel – CAF Members Non-Duty-Related. In accordance with ref F, non-duty domestic travel can be approved through the pre-pandemic process used in DND/CAF. Unless stated otherwise at refs G and H, all periods of self-isolation or quarantine required by local public health authorities at the travel destination, and at any points in between, must be covered by annual leave. If required to quarantine upon return to place of residence, chains of command will be responsible for managing whether remote work is feasible for the quarantine period and, if not, annual leave will be required for that period of time (unless the member is granted sick leave). The level of approval for non-duty-related domestic travel is to be set by L1s in accordance with ref J.
- DND/CAF International Travel
- International Travel – DND Employees Work-Related. International work-related travel for DND employees may be approved through the pre COVID-19 pandemic process used in DND/CAF provided that the starting, destination and any countries transited do not prohibit such travel. P/T, regional, municipal and host nation restrictions will be adhered to. The level of authority to authorize such travel is to be determined by the L1 and in accordance with refs D and E; and
- International Travel – CAF Members Duty-Related. International duty-related travel for CAF members may be approved through the pre COVID-19 pandemic process used in DND/CAF provided that the starting, destination and any countries transited do not restrict such travel). P/T, regional, municipal and host nation restrictions will be adhered to. The level of authority to authorize such travel is to be determined by the L1 and in accordance with refs D and E. Due to the unique considerations and environments in which the CAF operates, it is recognized that it may not always be possible to adhere to all of the GC international travel restrictions when undertaking duty-related travel (including travel for compassionate reasons, HHTs/DITs and HLTAs). For this reason, the GC has provided specific exemptions for the CAF. In these instances, the approving authority is to seek guidance through their SMA for testing and quarantine requirements related to CAF duty travel.
- International Travel for Compassionate Reasons. In accordance with, refs F, G, H and I, international travel for compassionate reasons will continue to be applied as per QR&O 16.17. Mandatory self-isolation or quarantine leave will be granted in accordance with ref J, 5.17.Special Leave (COVID-19 Mandatory Quarantine) to account for the time in quarantine, this does not entitle members to reimbursement of expenses incurred during this period. If approved, the application of Compassionate Travel Assistance for personnel travelling from OUTCAN is limited to the provisions of Military Foreign Service Instruction Section 10.23. If approved, the application of Compassionate Travel Assistance for personnel travelling from Canada is limited to the provisions of CBI 209.51. Consideration shall be given prior to approval as to plans for risk mitigation, including the ability to get health care, whether medical insurance is in place, and repatriation of the member if the COVID-19 situation should deteriorate at the planned destination. The level of approval authority for international travel for compassionate reasons is to be set by L1s in accordance with ref J;
- International HHTs/ DITs. Notwithstanding direction provided at ref M, HHTs/DITs are permitted only to those destinations where there are no quarantine requirements at destination (and, when applicable, quarantine can be completed upon return to origin within the member’s principal residence). However, a member may proceed on an HHT/DIT unaccompanied if there is an exemption for travel in place that permits a military member travelling for the performance of military duties not to have to quarantine on arrival (and, when applicable, quarantine can be completed upon return to origin within the member’s principal residence). Any testing or other requirements associated with that exemption must be followed. HHTs after COS remains an option if travel restrictions do not permit a member and their dependents to conduct a HHT before COS; and
- HLTAs. HLTAs can be approved in accordance with direction to be promulgated by CJOC, CANSOFCOM and the VCDS in accordance with Military Foreign Service Instruction 10.21. If approved, reimbursement of expenses is limited to the provisions of Military Foreign Service Instruction Section 10.21.04 – 10.21.07, which does not reimburse COVID-19 related costs. Mandatory self-isolation or quarantine leave will be granted in accordance with ref J, 5.17.Special Leave (COVID-19 Mandatory Quarantine) to account for the time in quarantine, this does not entitle members to reimbursement of expenses incurred during this period.
- International Travel – CAF Members Non-Duty-Related. Non-duty international travel can be approved through the pre-pandemic process used in DND/CAF in accordance with ref J and provided that the starting, destination and any countries transited do not restrict such travel. P/T, regional, municipal and host nation restrictions will be adhered to. Unless stated otherwise at refs F, G and I all periods of self-isolation or quarantine required by local public health authorities at the travel destination, and at any points in between, must be covered by annual leave. If required to quarantine upon return to place of residence, the member’s chain of command will be responsible for managing whether remote work is feasible for the quarantine period and, if not, annual leave will be required for that period of time (unless the member is granted sick leave). Members are also responsible for making the arrangements to meet COVID-19 testing requirements from local public health authorities and all costs incurred will be at their own expense. The approval authority for non-duty-related international travel is to be set by L1s in accordance with ref J.
- CDS/DM Operational Testing Priorities. As CF H Svc Gp possesses limited capacity for integral COVID-19 operational testing, it will remain critical that this resource be used in a deliberate and prioritized manner and in support of a LRMS. Integral testing will be used to support CAF operational activities in accordance with the following priorities:
- Operational Activities. This includes domestic and international deployed operations, NORAD (Quick Reaction Alert Aircraft and Air-to-Air Refueling), Ready Duty Ship, Search and Rescue, CANSOFCOM Critical Capabilities, and Critical Command and Control Capabilities;
- Force Generation Activities. This includes specific force generation activities for domestic and international deployed operations, students, instructors and key personnel at CAF training institutions; and
- Regular duties. All remaining DND employees and CAF members. Anomalies or situations outside what is covered here should be raised through the SMA to CF H Svc Gp.
- RADT Testing Program. DND/CAF has adopted a rapid testing program to help identify asymptomatic carriers of the SARS-COV-2 virus to try and minimize the potential for Defence Team members in high risk occupations / high risk workplaces in accordance with ref B. The program will consist of voluntary screening in support of a LRMS for Defence Team members at higher risk of infections or where infections can have a disproportionate impact on the Defence Team and/or those who may be supported by Defence Team members and operations;
- Contact Tracing Strategy. CF H Svc Gp is responsible for coordinating with local public health authorities to limit the impact and reduce the transmission of COVID-19. In most instances within Canada, local public health authorities will be the lead contact tracing entity for Defence Team members, including CAF members. However, CF H Svc Gp will be the lead for contact tracing in the following limited circumstances:
- Contact tracing of CAF members who are in locations where CF H Svc Gp has agreed with local health authorities that CF H Svc Gp would act as the lead for CAF member contact tracing;
- Contact tracing of Defence Team members who are deployed on international operations or in select circumstances for Defence Team members OUTCAN;
- The MND must authorize all CF H Svc Gp contact tracing of civilians INCAN. CF H Svc Gp contact tracing will communicate any relevant information obtained about potential non-DND/CAF contacts to the appropriate local public health authority; and
- Additionally, CF H Svc Gp has developed a surge capacity under Director Force Health Protection to assist local public health authorities to conduct contact tracing. This surge capacity may only be deployed in response to a P/T request for assistance under the Op LASER authority framework.
- Wearing of NMMs/PPE in uniform. NMMs remain part of the uniform until public health advice indicates otherwise. NMM must be worn within the CAF guidelines of uniformity, discipline and maintaining a positive military appearance. FG/L1s will ensure that NMMs worn while in uniform are conservative in design and colour, provide no overt support to industry, and shall not include slang language or offensive content. FGs will continue to refine, implement and professionalize standards for the wearing of PPE and PHMs in CAF operations;
- Ceremonial. Military ceremonies such as Changes of Command, Depart with Dignity, promotions, and awards are an important aspect of CAF culture. Nonetheless, large gatherings continue to represent a risk of virus transmission. As P/T restrictions on gatherings are reduced, L1s may authorize and delegate changes to restrictions on ceremonial events commensurate with P/T, host nations and local limitations;
- Access to Defence Establishments. Access to Defence Establishments may be assessed and approved by the local Base/Wing Commander. Approval will be based on public health data and SMA with regard to community transmission of COVID-19 and whether appropriate physical distancing and PHMs are in place;
- Engagements and Visits including Visits by Parliamentarians. Engagement with external organizations such as foreign delegations, other government departments and agencies, parliamentarians and other elected officials, as well as industry representatives may be required or requested in the course of resuming activities. Engagements and visits should continue to be limited and conducted virtually to the maximum extent possible. However, if DND/CAF and GC PHMs can be followed, face-to-face engagements and visits may resume. Foreign delegations must comply with all GC orders with respect to entry into Canada, as well as any relevant public health quarantine and/or testing requirements prior to any engagement;
- Visits for the purposes of Essential Maintenance. As detailed at ref K, personnel working for companies and their subcontractors, who perform under contract to Canada for the provision of materials and services for DND, who support the development, production, testing, fielding, or sustaining of our military weapon systems/software systems, or the infrastructure to support those activities, may be exempt from the federal border restrictions upon arrival within Canada, but may still be required to comply with P/T requirements, including quarantine. FG/L1s coordinating the essential work will provide the incoming personnel with a letter to be presented to border service agents detailing the essential nature of the work to be performed, and the rationale for the immediacy of the work to be performed. Such individuals must still comply with other federal travel restrictions that may be in effect, such as pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test requirements, as well as certain P/T restrictions depending on the destination. The FG/L1 will ensure the incoming personnel are fully aware of all applicable restrictions and are provided with the necessary documentation to substantiate any exemption;
- Visiting Foreign Military Forces. CAF L1s are to maintain robust liaison with allies to ensure collaborative planning for deliberately scheduled operations, training and activities, and to ensure we have visibility on allied intentions to transit through Canada. SJS will be kept informed of all visiting foreign military forces by the appropriate L1. The following will be considered for visiting foreign military forces:
- The relevant FG/L1 will establish CAF host liaison before a visit takes place;
- L1s will submit to SJS concept of operations (CONOPS) for proposed operations, training, and activities to be conducted with foreign military forces in Canada. CONOPs are to include COVID-19 LRMS, details regarding community engagement, and communications plan;
- Foreign military aircrew have been informed by a NOTAM to land at either CFB Comox or CFB Goose Bay as a preventive measure to limit any potential COVID-19 spreads;
- As much as is possible, foreign military forces should be convinced to contain the activities and transits to defence establishments to mitigate risk to the Canadian public; and
- Upon receipt of a positive test within 14 days of visiting Canada, foreign forces shall be requested to immediately communicate results to applicable FG/L1 and/or CAF host.
- Reporting. MPC/CF H Svc Gp is to provide reports on the COVID-19 vaccination uptake rate across the CAF;
- Public Affairs Posture. The public affairs approach is active and closely coordinated with the GC and L1s in support of GC priorities. Alignment and synchronization of internal and external narratives and activities will enable support for Defence Team activities. The approach should also be aligned with those of allies and partners, highlighting how DND/CAF continues to engage and contribute globally in support of GC objectives. Where CAF L1s, based on SMA advice, authorize the lifting of restrictions and resumption of activities in CAF operational environments ahead of the broader Defence Team workplace, and local public health restrictions, public affairs support will be provided in anticipation of internal, public and media interest; and
- Lessons Learned. As indicated in tasks, the collection, consolidation, and sharing of lessons learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will require significant attention and effort to ensure the DND/CAF is better prepared to respond to future crises.
CONCEPT OF SUPPORT
- (U) Procurement and Distribution of PPE and NMMs. While CAF supply chain and support systems are gradually returning to new normal levels of activity, there remains a particular focus on PPE and NMM.
- Medical PPE. Medical authorities will continue to gradually procure medical PPE to ensure CAF core missions and CDS/DM priorities are supported; and
- NMMs. NMMs will be procured in accordance with the requirements outlined in the ADM(Mat) Canadian Forces Technical Order which indicates the technical specifications as approved by CF H Svc Gp. National procurement contracts are in place to maintain a ratio of at least three NMMs per Defence Team member, allow for replacement of NMMs, and to prepare for a possible resurgence.
- Local Purchase Order (LPO). L1s are authorized to acquire NMMs through LPO for their Defence Team members if necessary for reasons such as the inadequate fit of NMMs provided through national contracts. Any LPO of NMM must meet the requirements as outlined in the ADM(Mat) Canadian Forces Technical Order; and
- Accountability. NMMs will have a Permanent System Control Number attributed to them for tracking purposes, but will be treated as a consumable item. Inventory will not be managed below the Base/Wing level and NMMs will not be placed on CAF members’ clothing documents.
- Apportionment and Distribution. Based on CDS/DM priorities and ongoing discussions between Strat J4 and L1 Log reps, apportionment of NMMs are adjusted to ensure priorities are met.
- (U) Finance. L1s are to fund and capture all expenditures associated with this directive using internal financial coding and funding. L1s are to create their own Internal Orders (IOs) and charge all expenditures to this IO. All IOs are to be linked to the IO Group GEN039.20 for local fund expenses related to COVID-19. Any pressures are to be reported through the regular reporting process.
- (U) Office of Primary Interest (OPI). VCDS.
- (U) Office of Collateral Interest (OCI). DOS SJS.
- (U) SJS Points of Contact
- BGen Erick Simoneau, SJS Director General Plans, 613-904-5231;
- Col Colleen Forestier, CMP Director Health Services Operations, 613-901-9889;
- LCol Krystle Connerty, SJS Director Plans North America, 613-901-8069;
- Chris Charron, SJS Section Head Emergency Management; 613-905-5824; and
- Chantal Cloutier, SJS Strategic Advisor, 613-904-6104.
D. Eyre Jody Thomas
Lieutenant-General Deputy Minister
Acting Chief of the Defence Staff
- SJS DOS
- Comd RCN
- Comd CA
- Comd RCAF
- Comd MPC
- Comd CJOC
- Comd CANSOFCOM
- Comd CANELEMNORAD
- DComd JFC Naples
- Comd CFINTCOM
- Corp Sec
- ED NSIROCS
- Assoc MND
- Senior Assoc DM
Annex A – Glossary – Lexicon
- Cluster. A group of COVID-19 cases identified as being closely linked in time or space through a specific event, location, or common exposure.
- Cohort. Groups that are sub-divided (into cohorts) to simplify contact tracing or to reduce potential transmission of an infection.
- Contact. Someone who has had contact with a COVID-19 case during the infectious period.
- Contact Tracing. Contact-tracing (CT) for the Defence Team will be performed to interrupt ongoing transmission and reduce the spread of an infection such as COVID-19. It alerts contacts to the possibility of infection, provides an opportunity for education, and determines what additional PHMs need to be taken to limit the transmission of COVID-19:
- CT of Defence Team members is normally performed by local public health authorities; and
- If authorized by the MND, and only to the extent authorized by MND, the CAF may perform CT for DND employees, other Government of Canada (GC) employees, and CFMWS employees who are part of the Defence Team. This would only happen in an OUTCAN/deployed situation.
- Contact Tracer. A member of the Health Services team who has been trained to conduct interviews and follow up with COVID-19 Cases and Contacts.
- COVID-19. COVID-19 is the clinical symptomatic disease caused by the SARS COV-2 virus.
- COVID-19 Case. A person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 identified by a positive test result. Prior to receiving the results of testing, a person who is thought to have COVID-19 may be considered a “probable case.” A probable case will be treated as a COVID-19 case.
- COVID-19 Protective Zones. The following zones will categorize exposure risk and help DND/CAF establish appropriate Public Health Measures (PHMs) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) priorities for Defence Team members based on your work environment:
- Home Zone. Place of duty is at home or in quarantine;
- PHM Zone. Duties and work environments, where two metre physical distancing can be maintained;
- PHM Zone – Enhanced. Duties and work environments where two metre physical distancing cannot be maintained;
- PPE Zone. Duties and work environment that involves coming in contact with known COVID-19 infected or symptomatic individuals, their belongings or environment; and
- PPE Zone – Medical. Healthcare providers and first responders who provide patient care to known COVID-19 infected or symptomatic individuals.
- Domestic Travel. Travel within the boundaries in the country of duty.
- Isolation. A preventive measure against the spread of an infectious disease involving the separation of an infected person from non-infected people during the communicable period of the disease.
- Layered Risk Mitigation Strategy. Layered Risk Mitigation is a strategy to reduce the risk of COVID-19 Cases from infecting a DND/CAF group by applying a number of risk reduction tools. This always begins with PHMs but includes additional tools such as screening questionnaires, quarantine, operational testing, rapid antigen detection tests, contact tracing, and the sequestering of forces. Each layer in the strategy reduces risk in an attempt to minimize the chance of an infected person adversely affecting a mission and limiting the impact if they do.
- Non-Medical Mask. A non-medical mask is a mask that fully covers the nose and mouth to prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating people or things in the immediate vicinity of the wearer. The wearing of a non-medical mask is considered a PHM that will protect others from you in the course of your normal activities.
- Onboarding. The action or process of integrating a new employee into an organization.
- Operational Testing. Operational testing refers to any testing of asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19 that is not required for clinical reasons, including but not limited to, deployments, taskings, or as part of an alternate quarantine protocol. For the purposes of this directive, operational testing is considered separate from Rapid Antigen Detection Testing.
- Outbreak. An epidemic limited to a localized increase in the incidence of a disease.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Testing. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is performed to detect genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus. The test detects the presence of a virus if you are infected at the time of the test. A PCR test for COVID-19 is used to diagnose people who are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The PCR test is the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 because it is the most accurate and reliable test and is the most common type of test required for crossing of borders and for confirmation of diagnosis of COVID-19.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). All PPE referred to throughout this directive is related to the use of PPE in the COVID-19 context. There are two categories of PPE: medical-grade PPE and non-medical PPE. The wearing of non-medical PPE is considered a PHM that will help protect the wearer as well as other people from COVID-19. Medical-grade PPE is for the sole purpose of protecting the wearer from infection when performing higher risk healthcare tasks. Medical-grade PPE is used in conjunction with PHMs. Users of medical-grade PPE are normally restricted to members on operations, first responders and health care workers where specific guidance on its allocation and use is already provided in separate policies, directives, and orders. Medical-grade PPE includes equipment such as: surgical and N95 masks, eye protection, face shields, gloves, and gowns. Medical-grade PPE will not be issued to the majority of Defence Team personnel.
- Physical Distancing. This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible.
- Prevalence. This refers to an epidemiological concept of the frequency of an exposure or an outcome such as the number of cases of an infection that is occurring in a defined population of individuals/people at one point in time (point prevalence) or within a specified period of time (period prevalence).
- Public Health Measures (PHMs). PHMs are behaviours, actions, or the wearing of non-medical equipment which may help reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases. Some PHMs provide limited protection from others, but their most important feature is they protect others from you in the course of your duties in the DND/CAF workplace and in the community. Judicious application of PHMs is all that is needed for most members of the Defence Team and should be the default for all settings.
- Quarantine. A measure to prevent the spread of an infectious disease in which a healthy person who may have been in contact with an infected person is separated from others for the during the incubation period of the disease. This type of quarantine must be distinguished from quarantine that applies to travellers returning from abroad and is imposed under the Quarantine Act, and constitutionally is within the exclusive authority of the federal government.
- Rapid Antigen Detection Testing (RADT). A rapid antigen detection test (RADT) is test suitable for point-of-care diagnostic testing. It detects the presence of proteins (antigens) expressed by the virus, bacteria, or parasite for which the test has been specifically designed. If the target antigen is present in sufficient concentrations in the sample, it will bind to specific antibodies fixed to a paper strip enclosed in a plastic casing and generate a visually detectable signal, typically within 30 minutes. RADT for COVID-19 virus requires a sample from the respiratory tract of a person.
- Re-onboarding. Occurs in the context of bringing people back into the workplace or into the work environment with potentially different/redefined expectations or requirements.
- Resurgence. A clear and sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that occur in a specific geographic location, which has experienced a peak and a subsequent plateau or decline. Resurgences can arise from the sum of multiple clusters.
- Self-Isolation. This is the term that has been used in CAF orders and DND direction throughout the early months of the COVID-19 response, but is to be replaced with the term quarantine going forward.
- Sequester. Separation of a Cohort of asymptomatic CAF members/DND employees from their friends, families and other members of the Defence Team. Used for the purpose of reducing the potential spread of COVID-19 from the communities in which they live or work into the DND/CAF Cohort or Training Establishment, for the duration of the sequestration.
- Wave. An uncontrolled spread of cases in multiple geographic locations, which have experienced a peak and a subsequent plateau or decline in cases. A wave is distinguished from a resurgence or cluster by its extensive involvement across multiple regional jurisdictions and prolonged period (weeks to months) of transmission, and may arise from a resurgence.
Annex B – Public Health Measures and Personal Protective Equipment Decision Tool
- General Public Health Measures (PHMs). During phase 1, the following PHMs are things you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and at home. They include the following:
- Stay at home unless you are authorized to report for duty or work;
- Avoid all non-essential trips within your community;
- Avoid gathering in groups;
- Limit contact with people at higher risk (e.g., older adults and those with chronic medical conditions);
- If you leave your home, maintain a two metre distance from others;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food (>60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an alternative);
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm and not your hands; and
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Non-Medical Masks (NMMs). The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) released guidance on the use of NMMs (cloth masks/face coverings) in the community. They stated that wearing such a mask has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, but can be used as an additional measure to PROTECT OTHERS around you. Wearing a NMM is considered a PHM and is one way to protect particularly vulnerable populations (i.e., older adults, those with chronic underlying medical conditions or the immunocompromised) by preventing your respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. In addition, PHAC has issued guidance recommending that NMMs be made of three layers. The following is the DND/CAF direction on the use of NMMs:
- NMMs must be well-fitted (non-gaping). NMMs can become contaminated during use. You must avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often. Also, NMMs should not be shared with others;
- Wearing a 2-layer NMM is considered an adequate interim PHM until 3-layer NMMs can be procured in large quantities. Future procurement and ongoing production of DND/CAF-issued NMMs will conform to the updated PHAC guidance;
- In accordance with the updated PHAC advice stating that closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings, and close-range conversations are settings that are particularly risky for the transmission of COVID-19, unless authorized at para 2.d., NMMs shall now be worn by all persons in the following circumstances, even when physical distancing and other PHMs can be adhered to:
- In all closed spaces (i.e. conference rooms, meetings rooms, classrooms and locker/change rooms, aircraft, ships, etc.) unless an exemption is granted for a region where there is minimal risk of COVID-19, for safety or operational reasons, or for specific circumstances such as where groups have previously been sequestered (e.g. RCN ships). L1s (can be delegated to L2s) must consult with their Senior Medical Authority prior to granting any exemptions and are to inform SJS;
- While transiting from one’s work station/office to another location;
- Within public spaces such as canteens, kitchenettes, sitting areas, common areas; and
- In poorly ventilated open-space workspaces.
- The removal of NMMs may be considered while adhering to other PHMs:
- If you are alone and there is no possibility of encountering another person unexpectedly before the NMM can be donned;
- Outdoors where physical distancing is maintained at all times and incidental contact with others is unlikely;
- Indoors where a person is at their normal workstation, in a well-ventilated open space, working quietly, (including speaking in a normal tone and volume on the telephone) at least 2 metres from others;
- Other short-term scenarios where the wearing of a NMM is not possible and appropriate, such as when a person is eating or drinking; and
- While doing a CAF fitness tests (e.g. FORCE test).
- Cloth masks should be changed as soon as they become damp or soiled. They should be placed directly into a washing machine or a disposable bag that can be emptied into a washing machine and then discarded. Cloth masks can be laundered with other items using detergent and a hot cycle, and then dried thoroughly. Masks that cannot be washed should be discarded and replaced as soon as they become damp, soiled or crumpled;
- Used masks should be considered as potentially contaminated. When removing a mask, do not touch the front or the inside of the mask; instead remove it by grasping the ties or straps with your fingers. Carefully place disposable masks in regular garbage containers and immediately conduct hand washing; and
- Remember not to touch or rub your eyes as that is another route of infection. Wearing an NMM does not replace the need for hand washing and physical distancing.
- Public Health Measures and PPE Decision Tool. The following flowchart will help guide what level of Public Health Measures to take or PPE to wear if authorized to report for duty or work:
Before starting work, ask yourself this question
- Do I have symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath?
STOP-Self isolate/ stay home
- Put on mask
- Wash hands
- Seek medical assessment
If you are at the workplace, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I alone and there is no possibility of encountering another person unexpectedly before the NMM can be donned?
- Am I outdoors where physical distancing is maintained at all times and incidental contact with others is unlikely?
- Am I indoors where a person is at their normal workstations, in a well-ventilated open space, working quietly at least 2 metres from others?
- Am I in a short-term scenario where the wearing of a NMM is not possible and appropriate, such as eating or drinking?
- Am I doing a CAF fitness test?
- Have I been granted an exemption by my L1 (or L2 when delegated)?
- If you answered YES to one of these questions
NMM may be removed in these instances
- If you answered NO, ask yourself:
- Does my task involve coming in contact with known COVID-19 infected or symptomatic individuals, their belongings or environment?
NMM must be worn
Wear surgical mask or equivalent issued by DND, wear nitrile or impervious gloves PPE Zone Ask yourself: Does my task involve patient care to known COVID-19 infected or symptomatic individuals
No additional PPE required PPE Zone
Add eye protection PPE Zone - Medical
Wear disposable coveralls if possible
Annex C - Defence Team Workplace Scalable Posture
|Normal||Adapted Workplace||Remote Workplace|
Normal (Post Pandemic)
Essential Activities only
Maximum Force Protection
Consider around 0.1%
Consider around 0.5%
Consider around 5%
Consider over 5%
Authority for adjustment
L1 (can be delegated as low as L3)
L1 (can be delegated as low as L3)
L1 (can be delegated as low as L3)
L1 (can be delegated as low as L3)
L1 (can be delegated as low as L3)
•No COVID-related restrictions
•Common sense precautions continue indefinitely
•Staffing dependent on adherence to individual PHMs and local PH guidance
•Consider up to 75% presence in the workplace
•Virtual meetings favoured
•Consider up to 65% presence in the workplace
•Essential personnel only in workplace
•Virtual meetings favoured
•Consider up to 50% presence in the workplace
•Critical personnel work separate locations to ensure redundancy across all core functions
•Virtual meetings favoured
•Consider up to 25% presence in the workplace
•Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
•Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm and not your hands
•Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
•Other PHMs that the SMA might recommend
•COVID-19 baseline PHMs
•NMMs worn indoors
•Limit contact with vulnerable people
•COVID-19 baseline PHMs
•NMMs worn indoors
•Limit contact with vulnerable people
•COVID-19 baseline PHMs6
•NMMs worn indoors
•Limit contact with vulnerable people
•Consider augmenting workplace RADT program
•COVID-19 baseline PHMs6
•NMMs worn indoors
•Limit contact with vulnerable people
•Consider augmenting workplace RADT program
Activities and gatherings
•Most indoor activities permitted without physical distancing
•Indoor group PT with physical distancing permitted
•Outdoor activities and group PT without physical distancing permitted
•Most indoor activities with physical distancing permitted
•Limited indoor group PT
•Outdoor activities and group PT without physical distancing permitted
•Indoor gatherings limited to essential activities
•Some outdoor gatherings with physical distancing permitted
•Individual outdoor activities permitted
•Indoor gatherings limited to essential activities
•Limit outdoor gatherings to essential activities
•Individual outdoor activities permitted
- Posture may be raised whenever prevalence rises; or reduced when prevalence has remained below the preceding threshold for at least 2 weeks, and must be informed by SMA advice.
- Posture for a specific group can be adjusted based on level of vaccination coverage, informed by SMA advice. In general, 90% fully vaccinated rate in an region with a point prevalence of 0.5% or less is permissive for unrestricted gathering sizes
- Additional factors apply for the operational and training settings, and should be guided by SMA and operational necessity.
- Prevalence: https://decision-support-tools.com/map
- NMMs must be well-fitted (non-gaping) and worn:
- In all closed spaces (e.g. conference rooms, meetings rooms, classrooms and locker/change rooms, aircrafts, ships, etc.) unless an exemption is granted for a region where there is minimal risk of COVID-19, for safety or operational reasons, or for specific circumstances such as where groups have previously been sequestered (e.g. RCN ships). L1s (can be delegated to L2s) must consult with their Senior Medical Authority prior to granting any exemptions and are to inform SJS.
- While transiting from one’s work station/office to another location
- Within public spaces such as canteens, kitchenettes, sitting areas, common areas; and In poorly ventilated open-space workspaces.
- The removal of NMMs may be considered while adhering to other PHMs: If you are alone and there is no possibility of encountering another person unexpectedly before the NMM can be donned; Indoors where a person is at their normal workstation, in a well-ventilated open space, working quietly, (including speaking in a normal tone and volume on the telephone) at least 2 metres from others; Other short-term scenarios where the wearing of a NMM is not possible and appropriate, such as when a person is eating or drinking; and while doing a CAF fitness tests (e.g. FORCE test).
- Baseline COVID-19 PHMs include:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm and not your hands
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Maintain 2 meter physical distancing indoors
Annex D – DND/CAF PHM Adjustment Guide
STEP 1: Always apply public health measures.
All Defence Team Members must continue to adhere to designated public health measures in the workplace. These include: physical distancing, face covering, frequent hand washing
STEP 2: Identify type of workplace being considered.
Type of work environment being considered:
- CAF Operational Environment
- Defence Team Environment
STEP 3: Identify factors that may allow for adjustments in PHMs
- Factors to consider:
- Composition of work force (military and civilian)
- Vaccination rate of group (known or estimated)
- Group size
- Local public health guidance
- Local point prevalence
- Type and timeline of activity
- Can changes to public health measures posture be made quickly if required?
- Activities to consider:
- Workplace occupancy
- Outdoor workplace-related gatherings
- Indoor workplace-related gatherings
- Group sports
STEP 4: Initiate small progressive changes to PHM’s based on SMA advice DFHP guidance.
Can less or more restrictive measures be considered within tolerance for cases and further transmission, and capacity to manage?
- If yes, communicate new public health measures with group, and monitor for indicators for requirement to revert.
- If no, continue with current public health measures
STEP 5: Maintain Force Protection
Continue to maintain Force Health Protection based on indicators, Senior Medical Authority (SMA) advice and evolving evidence.
- Date modified: