Before the COVID-19 pandemic, several unwritten rules were applied when riding an elevator during an ad building. It was polite to carry the doors if you saw someone running toward the elevator. The direction to face was toward the elevator doors, not the walls of the cab. Even within the limited space available in most elevator cabs, people tried to place the maximum amount of distance between themselves and other riders as possible.
When the pandemic started, people’s approach to riding elevators changed so on avoid close contact which can transmit the virus. While some people are hesitant to ride in elevators, in tall buildings, taking the steps isn’t always an option — especially when traveling to the 20th or 30th floor. Limited mobility may additionally make it challenging for people to require the steps. Fortunately, there are steps you’ll fancy to protect yourself on elevators during and after the pandemic.
Do Elevators Increase COVID-19 Risk?
At the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, scientists weren’t sure how COVID-19 spread. They knew the virus traveled from person to person, but they weren’t sure if the exposure occurred after touching a surface that had the virus thereon or if the virus mainly traveled through the air. Time and research allowed scientists to get that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, typically spreads when people are in close contact with one another, usually but about three feet apart.
The virus can travel in droplets or aerosols from an infected person’s nose or mouth. People produce droplets once they speak, cough, sneeze or exhale. When people are crowded together, like during a busy elevator, the droplets can easily reach another person’s nose or mouth.
Riding an elevator with a person who is infected with the coronavirus can increase your risk of getting infected. But the risk of being in an elevator with an infected person is no greater than the risk of being near someone who has the virus in another setting, such as in a meeting at work or in a car. Another thing to consider is that the time people spend in Elevator Suppliers is usually short and takes about a minute. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure typically occurs when someone is within 6 feet of another person with COVID-19 for 15 minutes.
Using Elevators Safely During the Coronavirus Pandemic
For people who need to continue to use elevators during the COVID-19 pandemic, several safety measures exist. The measures you can take are very similar to what you are likely already doing in other situations when you need to be close to other people:
Wear a mask: A tightly fitting mask covering the mouth and nose is important to wear in a public elevator during the pandemic. Many buildings require people to wear masks at all times, meaning you might not be allowed to enter a building with your face uncovered.
Don’t talk: The virus spreads when people talk, laugh, sing or otherwise exhale. When riding with others, keep talking to a minimum, such as only saying the floor you want. Sanitize your hands before and after: Wash or sanitize your hands before you get on the elevator and after you exit, especially if you touched the buttons on the wall. If you touch a surface that has the virus on it and touches your nose, mouth or eyes, there is a chance you could become infected.
Limit contact with surfaces: When on the elevator, try not to touch anything, such as the handrails, walls, or buttons. If you need to call the elevator or press your floor number, use your knuckle instead of a fingertip. Another option is to use a toothpick or cover your hand with a tissue before pressing a button.
Face away from other riders: Facing toward the front of the elevator was good etiquette before the pandemic, and it continues to be good etiquette during it. Directing your face away from your fellow passengers can reduce the virus’s transmission through exhalation or coughing.