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Elevator Guidelines & Research Regarding COVID-19

Monday, June 22, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christine Miclat
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Going Up: How Do You Stay Safe from COVID-19 in an Elevator? - ABC News article


Coronavirus Disease Outbrek in Call Center, South Korea - Official Study from CDC

  • Seoul Study: “In March, during a COVID-19 outbreak in a busy 19-story building in Seoul, the virus spread almost exclusively between individuals working on the same floor. The authors of the case report that even with considerable interaction between workers on one floor with those on other floors, the virus did not appear to spread vertically through the building.”

Elevators Changed Cities. Will Coronavirus Change Elevators? - Bloomberg article

  • “But while elevators might look like disease traps, experts say the chances of getting sick on an empty one are probably low. Richard Corsi, the dean of engineering and computer science at Portland State University and indoor air specialist who ran the aforementioned model of elevator droplets, said that those covert particles probably wouldn’t pack enough virus to sicken a second passenger. “I think there are greater risks,” he said, listing workplaces, restaurants, mass transit systems and other places where people tend to spend longer periods of time, and breathe more potentially infected air, than the few minutes it might take to go up and down between floors.”

Richard Corsi Study

  • “Rough estimate for a hypothetical elevator scenario involving an asymptomatic, infected individual traveling 10 stories in a residential building w/ empty return of elevator to 1st floor.”



Can I Get Coronavirus From Riding an Elevator? - The New York Times article

  • "Many infectious disease experts don’t believe that airborne particles in empty elevators pose a significant real-life risk when it comes to coronavirus.”
  • "The solution for those of us who must use elevators is to take common sense precautions. First, when possible, avoid riding with another person. And always wear a mask inside the elevator, even if you’re riding alone — a mask will help protect you from the last passenger, and will protect the next passenger from your germs. Avoid touching your face after touching elevator buttons, and wash your hands afterward. And if you must ride with another person or two, don’t get in unless everyone inside is wearing a mask.”

Coronavirus FAQs: Can Sunlight Kill The Virus? How Risky Is An Elevator Ride? - NPR article

  • "Linsey Marr is an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech, and she believes that transmission by inhalation of virus in the air is happening. 'I would be concerned about elevators because they are a confined space,' she said in an email interview with NPR. 'Many elevators do not seem to have mechanical ventilation, like a fan, beyond the natural ventilation that occurs when the doors open and close and some leakage that always occurs with any room.'"
  • "Dr. Daniel Griffin, an infectious diseases expert at Columbia University, says he believes the air in elevators doesn't pose a risk unless some very particular event just happened there that generated aerosols. Certain medical procedures, such as inserting a tube into an airway, are likely to generate higher concentrations of infectious respiratory aerosols. Vomiting can also produce aerosols, Griffin says. 'Unless someone had just vomited in that elevator and aerosolized [the viral particles] or someone had just been intubated in that elevator, you're OK,' he says."

Elevator Etiquette in 9 Easy Step For Returning To The Workplace - USA Today article

  • "First, building owners need to do their part. This includes figuring out how long it will take to get everyone up and down elevators based on the number of people in the building, and then creating appropriate queuing areas in the lobby where people can wait in line at least 6 feet from each other. Efforts should be made to stagger arrival and departure times in commercial office buildings so there isn’t overcrowding at rush hour. Last, the ventilation being supplied to the elevator cab should be checked and running at the highest fan speed."

  • All of us must practice good elevator etiquette:
  1. Wear a mask
  2. Load in a checkerboard pattern and maximize spacing (see graphic above)
  3. Face forward
  4. Announce your desired floor
  5. Have the person near buttons select for all using knuckles
  6. No talking
  7. Try not to sneeze or cough
  8. If you must, turn toward wall and cough/sneeze into elbow with mask on
  9. When door opens at floor, middle people move to side and front person moves out to create pathways to exit

New Guidelines From (Texas) State Limit Elevator Capacity Due to COVID-19 - CBS Austin article

Guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing - CDC Guidelines


  • Minimize traffic in enclosed spaces, such as elevators and stairwells. Consider limiting the number of individuals in an elevator at one time and designating one directional stairwells, if possible. Clean and disinfect shared areas (laundry facilities, elevators, shared kitchens, exercise rooms, dining rooms) and frequently touched surfaces using EPA-registered disinfectants external icon more than once a day if possible.

Personal and Social Activities - CDC Guidelines


  • Wear cloth face coverings and limit close contact with others. Wear a cloth face covering in the lobby or other common areas. Consider taking the stairs. Otherwise wait to use the elevator until you can either ride alone or only with people from your household.




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