March 13 update on COVID-19

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March 13, 2020

We recognize that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving quickly and this is creating concerns and uncertainty for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) employees and their families. Our primary focus remains the health and safety of our staff. ECCC continues to monitor COVID-19 and is committed to keep you informed as the situation evolves.

All ECCC employees should follow the practice recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): If you are sick or have symptoms, stay at home and inform your supervisor. If your health condition and job allow you to work from home, please discuss telework arrangements with your respective manager. 

We need to remain vigilant and adjust as necessary for the health of all employees. Effective immediately, we have therefore decided to suspend all travel to countries that are on PHAC’s list of Active travel health notices, as well as all non-essential international travel.

For the time being, we also recommend reducing business travel within the country. These should be evaluated on an operational requirement basis, and aligned with the evolution of the situation. Holding meetings virtually are encouraged. Managers are encouraged to discuss travel arrangements by supporting principles of mutual consent and obligation to travel. We also encourage you to follow PHAC’s guidelines for your personal travel.

For more information, you may consult the latest General Occupational Health Advisory issued by the Public Service Occupational Health Program (Health Canada), as well as Frequently Asked Questions on various topics such as responsibilities and rights, telework and leave and benefits.

To know more about COVID-19 and the latest updates, visit the GCintranet page and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website. These sites are regularly updated as new information becomes available.

We know that this situation can be unsettling. If you are preoccupied with the situation, please have a discussion with your manager or supervisor. Please note that we all have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-268-7708 for additional support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We understand that as the situation evolves, there will be more questions. Rest assured that the Department will be vigilant and that we will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available.

T. Christine Hogan
Deputy Minister

Martine Dubuc
Associate Deputy Minister

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