How to behave in an elevator during COVID-19 pandemic

A vector design concept of Social Distancing in the elevator during Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Info-graphic do and don't of maintain social distancing illustration. Flat vector of people using the elevator during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Joseph Allen has some advice about good elevator etiquette for when you return to the office amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wear a mask, he advises. Load the elevator in a checkerboard pattern. Face forward. Announce your desired floor. Have the person near the buttons select for everyone, using their knuckles. No conversations.

In addition to such individual actions, Allen recommends measures that building owners can take to minimize elevator riders’ risk of exposure, such as creating queuing lines in lobbies and staggering employees’ arrival and departure times.

Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote about how to navigate the use of elevators to avoid risk of COVID-19 infection in a June 2, 2020 opinion piece in USA Today.

“Workers want to know whether they can really be safe in an elevator, and building owners want to know whether they get elevator capacity to more than one person at a time,” wrote Allen. “Fortunately, the answer to both is, ‘Yes.’”

Read the USA Today op-ed: Elevator etiquette in 9 easy steps for returning to the workplace