The City of Chicago’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Response

As of now the PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging Expo is scheduled for November 8-11, 2020 at McCormick Place, Chicago. As the event’s Official Hotel Reservation Office, Expovision is closely monitoring hotel partners’ COVID-19 response. The PMMI Tradeshow Department is actively working with its city partners to see how the state’s and city’s 5-phase reopen plans could potentially impact the largest packaging expo.

The city of Chicago is diligently following COVID-19 guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes Illinois state leaders, the Chicago Convention Bureau, McCormick Place and the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Chicago’s 5-Phase Reopen Plan

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city’s 5-Phase Reopen Plan. As of now the city is in Phase 2 and there is no exact timeline to achieve each Phase. Getting to Phase 3 depends on Chicago’s COVID-19 case rate, hospital capacity and more metrics.

  1. STRICT STAY-AT-HOME
  2. STAY-AT-HOME: Flatten the curve with non-essential work being done from home, be safely outside for essential activities with face masks and social distancing.
  3. CAUTIOUSLY REOPEN: Select business will reopen.
  4. GRADUALLY RESUME: Further reopen the city.
  5. PROTECT: All businesses open and maintain safety until the COVID-19 pandemic is contained.

Midway Airport and O’Hare Airport

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is vigorously disinfecting “high-touch” surface areas and maintaining social distancing at “high-traffic” areas. The CDA also added an additional 120 hand sanitizer stations at “high-traffic” areas for travelers’ use. The TSA, airport staff, airline employees and travelers will be reminded to practice safe social distancing. According to the CDC social distancing is staying at least 6 feet away from others. Social distancing will also be enforced in airport shuttle buses with a maximum passenger capacity of 15 people.

Expect reduced seating and proper spacing at Midway and O’Hare airport restaurants and bars. There are also no publicly shared condiment and utensil stations, soda fountain machines and water fountains. Reusable menus are now replaced with visual displays or one-use disposable menus.

These measures are important because COVID-19 is spread through close person-to-person contact in “respiratory droplets” (CDC).

McCormick Place

Expect to see an increase in hand sanitizer stations, routine cleaning and hospital-grade disinfecting of “high-touch” surfaces:

  • Restrooms
  • Handrails
  • All info desks
  • Door handles
  • Door push bars
  • Public furniture
  • Water fountains
  • Meeting room door handles, podiums, etc.

Convention center staff are getting trained on proper food safety, how to recognize potential coronavirus symptoms and how to safely treat someone with these symptoms. McCormick Place will also change HVAC filters more frequently during conventions.

Show Management

PMMI is encouraging their thousands of exhibitors to practice social distancing, provide hand sanitizer and routinely clean their booths. Show management will practice more contactless customer service with the mailing of registration badges. More precautionary measures include:

  • Face masks for any attendee that wants one.
  • Social distance seating at educational sessions.
  • Various remote badge pick-up areas.
  • Cleaning at registration desks, lounges, etc.
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