Elevator Etiquette in the Time of COVID-19


Elevator use within the American culture has always involved a fascinating little dance of socially-expected behaviors. COVID-19 prevention measures necessitate that we change things up just a bit.

Please make the following efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission related to elevator use:

▪Avoid crowding around while waiting for an elevator. If several people are gathered and you are physically able to do so, consider taking the stairs instead.

▪3’s a crowd. If two people are already riding the elevator, consider allowing the doors to close to wait for a clearer elevator car. Please politely encourage and do not be offended by this practice. There will come a day when we can fearlessly be close to others once again.

Lastly, while someone coughing directly onto your face can successfully transmit COVID-19 in an instant, public health experts consider close contact (being within 6 feet of another person) to be low risk for COVID-19 transmission if it occurs for less than 10 minutes.

Elevator advice: try your best to observe social distancing, use your elbow rather than your hand to depress elevator buttons, and don’t worry too much about exposure risk on your 30 second ride.

Taryn Tindall, RN, on behalf of the Deerfield Leadership Team