The Salvation Army
Office of the Territorial Commander
Canada and Bermuda Territory
To: All Officers and Employees
Re: COVID-19 Communication #2
Thank you for all you are doing to support the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army across the territory during these days. Please be assured of my continued personal interest and prayerful support as you lead during these trying times.
The COVID-19 situation continues to change swiftly, thus the reason for Communique #2 in rapid follow up to yesterday’s email. Please accept my thanks for your questions and engagement. It is my hope that the following will be of use as you continue to respond to COVID-19:
Public health officials are now referring to “social isolation” as an important way to combat and manage the transmission of the virus.
All Sunday worship services across the territory will be cancelled until April 30, 2020. That said, it’s important to note that while formal worship gatherings are cancelled due to directives from public health agencies, we encourage creative alternatives to meeting the spiritual needs of our people and community. Additional resources are going to be made available later this week.
Daycare, March Break and Afterschool Programs
These can proceed as long as all necessary precautions can be met as per the Public Health Guidance Document at this link https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/guidance-schools-childcare-programs.html. In the event there are concerns, the decision to cancel these programs is left to the discretion of the divisional commander.
In those areas where schools have been closed, we would advise that a local evaluation should be made of the situation including with public health officials in the affected community. It may be best to close these programs, and this is left to the discretion of the divisional commander.
As different parts of the territory are seeing varying degrees of engagement relative to the virus, it is also recommended that divisions continue to work with ministry units and the local health authority in the decision-making process.
Further information will be sent out regarding Booth University College convocation, the VOIT/SEE territorial youth congress and territorial executive conference (TEC) in the next week.
All domestic and U.S. business travel, including U.S. conference attendance is suspended effective immediately and until April 30. Any inquiries regarding travel should be addressed to the Chief Secretary, Colonel Edward Hill.
If you or your immediate family members return to Canada (from out of country), please call your local Public Health agency and your human resources department prior to returning to work as public health may have specific instructions and/or requirements prior to returning to work.
Employee Sick Time/Childcare Required (Ontario)
THQ Human Resources is working with THQ Legal to develop a process relative to sick time for employees and those who may be required to support family members in self-isolation/quarantine. We are sensitive to this reality and will follow up with further information early next week.
The Province of Ontario has closed all elementary and high schools for 3 weeks effective today, a decision that impacts many of our employees. As a result, Salvation Army team members will be supported during this extraordinary situation and employees with accommodation requests are advised to speak with their manager about options available (e.g. working from home, adjusted start- and end-times to the work day).
Friends, Commissioner Tracey and I are aware of the stress and anxiety that COVID-19 is creating. As we seek to live out our values, I am reminded that we can continue to provide hope to our friends, family and neighbours during these times through simple acts of kindness – a phone call or email. For those serving in our corps and social services facilities, we implore you to take great care as you serve. Thank you for your extraordinary service to suffering humanity during these days.
My prayer for each of you and your families is for protection and grace in these days. Thank you for your continued partnership in ministry.
Kindly share this communication to all officers, employees and other stakeholders within your jurisdiction as you deem best.
Floyd J. Tidd
Territorial Commander, Canada and Bermuda Territory
Feature illustration: charnsitr/stock.Adobe.com