Chicago Building Managers Relax Elevator Restrictions
City officials and property managers in Chicago are relaxing COVID-19 restrictions as more people are being vaccinated, the Chicago Tribune reports. Among changes are restrictions on elevators, for which capacity had previously been capped at four passengers per cab. As use of vaccines grew, allowable elevator usage was increased to six, or 50% occupancy by weight. Now, high-rise buildings are beginning to further reduce pandemic-related elevator rules. One such tower, the Aon Center, plans to do away with elevator capacity limits, while additionally dropping distancing requirements in such areas as elevator lobbies. “I think the fear of riding in elevators has subsided, especially due to vaccinations,” says Matt Amato, general manager of the 83-story supertall. Still, some policy changes could vary by building, says Derrick Johnson, a senior vice president at Zeller Realty Group and president of the board of directors for BOMA/Chicago. One such tower is the Wrigley Building, a historic property that was built with cramped elevators. Meanwhile, the 65-story tower at 311 South Wacker Drive offers some of the city’s most-spacious elevators. “We’re still working through that,” Johnson says, referring to the differences among the city’s high rises. Sources said the new elevator rules are part of Illinois’ “phase five” of post-pandemic reopening.