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There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every industry since it began last spring. After a year of changes, precaution, coping, and strategizing, business is definitely not as usual for anyone or anything. The elevator industry is no exception.

There’s a need for social distancing in any space. With elevators, however, that’s simply out of the question. Getting into a nearly air-tight little box with a couple or more strangers doesn’t leave room for distancing. As much as people may choose to avoid elevators for fear of spreading or receiving the virus, many people don’t have that option whether due to living in a high rise, limited mobility, or any other reason. Those of us who can’t abide by the social distancing guidelines are keeping the elevator business afloat, with a few adjustments.

As we now know, the virus can travel in aerosols and droplets from an infected person’s mouth or nose, so a busy elevator ride can greatly increase your risk of getting it if you’re sharing the ride with someone that’s been infected. To minimize the spread and your risk of getting sick, here are a few simple recommendations for using an elevator safely during the pandemic.

• Wear a mask
When worn correctly, masks prevent the virus from reaching others.

• Sanitize your hands before and after the ride
Sanitizing can kill traces of the virus you may have come in contact with.

• Touch as few surfaces as possible
The fewer surfaces your hand comes into contact with, the fewer germs you’ll pick up.

• Stay silent
Talking, laughing, singing, or otherwise will spread the virus in the air.

• Don’t stand face-to-face with other passengers
Limit the risk of transmissions through exhaling or coughing by facing away from others.

Passengers aren’t the only ones playing a part in the evolution of elevators. Many elevator companies and manufacturers have introduced new restrictions and technologies to help control the spread too. The pandemic has brought forth a need to make elevators even safer for passengers’ safety and health. Here are a few ways things have changed:

• Lower elevator occupancy limits
The fewer passengers in one area at a time, the fewer people the virus is passed on to.

• Programming elevators to stop at every floor
This minimizes passengers’ need to touch surfaces of the elevator like buttons.

• Touch-free options like apps
This will allow passengers to avoid buttons altogether, reducing the germs transmitted.

• ​Voice-activation
Voice control is an accessibility feature that limits surfaces people need to touch.

It may seem like a lot of work (for riders and elevator companies alike), but these restrictions and guidelines have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as put people’s minds at ease next time they step in an elevator cab. It’s likely that not every passenger will either agree with these policies or maybe fully understand the processes at work, so your elevator company should already be seeing, or expect to see soon, an influx of customer service calls regarding the changing elevator industry.

With all the changes, you’ve got enough to worry about. Insta Answer can lighten the load as little or as much as your company needs with our 24/7 virtual answering service. Call today!

Picture of Steve Samuels

Steve Samuels

A respected contact-service executive and thought-leader, Insta Answer CEO Steve Samuels has over 30 years experience in the industry. Steve posts his insights here on our blog weekly (and sometimes more.)

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