The City of Chicago’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Response

On August 5, 2020, PMMI announced that PACK EXPO International 2020 will be a live web-based event: “After thoughtful consultation with the PMMI Board of Directors, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, has made the difficult decision to cancel its in-person PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO in Chicago this year.  The PMMI Board determined that due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the current state and local regulations, it was not possible to have a safe and productive event for attendees and exhibitors.” Learn more

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 5 depends on the availability of a vaccine or a medicine to mitigate COVID-19 symptoms.

  2. STAY-AT-HOME: Flatten the curve with non-essential work being done from home.
  3. CAUTIOUSLY REOPEN: Select business will reopen.
  4. GRADUALLY RESUME: Further reopen the city. There are capacity limitations on indoor gatherings at museums, zoos, gyms, restaurants and meeting/venue spaces. 6-foot social distancing and wearing face masks in public are still required. Beaches and public pools are still closed.
  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.

Visit the Refund Center.

Hotel reservations can be cancelled by using one of the following methods:

  1.  Sign in above using the PACK EXPO website, enter your email address and hotel confirmation reservation/booking number
  2.  Refer to your hotel confirmation and select “change reservation” then “cancel”
  3.  Send your cancellation request to

This post was last updated on 8.6.2020.

Photo by Matthew Turner from Pexels

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