The Salvation Army
Canada and Bermuda Territory
Office of the Territorial Commander
To: All Officers and Employees
COVID-19 (coronavirus) has developed quickly and I want to assure you that The Salvation Army is committed to taking preventative measures to protect the safety of the 1.6 million people we serve each year as well as our officers, employees and volunteers. Their well-being is our top priority.
What Are We Doing?
We have established a Territorial Pandemic Incident Command Team who reports directly to the Territorial Risk Management Committee under the direction of the Chief Secretary, Colonel Edward Hill. These groups meet regularly to review information and share updates and resources. These resources and updates can be found at Salvationist.ca.
As the situation evolves, we continue to monitor and promote the Public Health Agency of Canada’s instructions in order to keep our communities healthy. This includes:
- practising good hygiene by washing hands often (for at least 20 seconds with soap)
- avoiding touching the face with hands
- proper sneezing/coughing technique (into elbow)
- encouraging those with possible symptoms or exposure to stay home and reduce the risk of possible transmission.
From a practical business perspective we ask that all Salvation Army officers and employees adhere to the following revised travel restrictions:
- ALL international travel is suspended effective immediately to April 30th. This travel policy will be monitored and evaluated as the outbreak evolves. Appeals may be made through the applicable Divisional Commander or Cabinet Secretary to the Chief Secretary’s Office.
- Domestic travel and transborder travel (within Canada and the United States) may continue until further notice. Personnel with previously (i.e. pre-outbreak) booked/paid domestic travel now wishing to cancel due to the outbreak, are advised to speak with their supervisor.
Large gatherings/events (not church worship)
- Large events/gatherings scheduled up to and including April 30th are to be cancelled or rescheduled. Appeals may be made through the applicable Divisional Commander or Cabinet Secretary to the Chief Risk Officer (Tracy Fattore) for evaluation and risk assessment by the Territorial Risk Committee. This policy will be monitored and evaluated for changes as the outbreak evolves.
- In the interest of avoiding potential future cancellations should the outbreak escalate, no new conferences or events should be planned until the outbreak has subsided.
Social Services institutions
- Please visit Salvationist.ca for current and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. We strongly recommend that all leadership teams work directly with the local health authorities and follow their recommended suggestions relative to proactively managing our response. I encourage you to liaise directly with your divisional human resources department.
Hosting & Greeting
We recommend that you greet one another with smiles and waves instead of handshakes.
Doors & Surfaces
Our facilities staff is committed to cleaning all door handles and surfaces that are touched on Sundays and throughout the week on a regular basis.
We recommend no longer passing the offering plate around during the service, but have offering boxes available as you exit the sanctuary.
For the immediate future we invite you to continue to meet and support each other in community. However, we would also remind you to follow the instructions above and recommend that if you are sick or feel sick, please stay home.
Those wishing to proceed with cancellation of other activities due to concerns, are advised to review them with the respective Area Commander and Divisional Headquarters or with the respective Cabinet Secretary.
In closing, this virus has caused anxiety for many. As Christians, we trust that God is in control and we will continue to move forward in ways that are wise and proactive.
Meanwhile, we continue to pray for our world and our communities—particularly for those directly impacted by the virus.
Kindly forward this communication to all officers, employees and others within your jurisdiction as you deem necessary.
May God bless you,
Floyd J. Tidd