COVID-19 Health and Safety Information

Welcome to the McCormick Place COVID-19 health and safety resource page.

Below you will find the ongoing measures we are taking to ensure the continued health and safety of all those who enter our facilities.

Reopening McCormick Place

The number one priority of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition (MPEA) has always been, and continues to be, the health and safety of our employees and clients. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have worked closely with public health officials and followed all guidance regarding meetings and events. We are actively implementing and updating our practices in accordance with federal, state, and local government recommendations.

A message from David Causton, General Manager, McCormick Place

MPEA SAFETY PLAN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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McCormick Place Reopening Preparation Efforts

In preparation for reopening, McCormick Place has examined all the buildings on campus and has begun implementing changes to enhance public health. This includes:

  • Adding new technology, such as increasing the number of touch free, automatic doors and allowing non-automatic doors to be propped open to minimize touches by guests and staff
  • Incorporating new signage and processes for elevators and escalators
  • Rearranging eating in common spaces has been rearranged to allow for social distancing
  • Ensuring the highest possible air quality by utilizing our team of building engineers who will regularly verify compliance within McCormick Place and the Wintrust Arena with ASHRAE standards, including increased frequency of filter replacement. This engineering team will also work with Hyatt and Marriott personnel in the hotels to maintain consistent standards across McCormick Square
McCormick Place South

Cleaning of Common Areas

There will be increased cleaning of common areas and restrooms. The plans call for high touch areas such as doors, escalator rails, elevator buttons and elevator interiors to be cleaned regularly and, depending upon the number of guests present in the facility, more frequently than under pre-COVID-19 conditions.

All cleaning and disinfecting will be performed according to CDC guidelines with materials approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for use in public areas. This includes technology such as ozone or hydroxyl generators, electrostatic mist cleaning, and foggers.

MPEA Hotels Operating Standards

As global brands, the two campus hotels are both operating according to standards established by Marriott International and the Hyatt Corporation. These operating standards have been examined by MPEA to ensure a consistently safe experience on campus. Each hotel has changed its operating procedures and policies to address the following items during your stay. Please visit the Marriott and Hyatt websites for up to date information on their ongoing efforts to ensure safety.

Check-in and check-out procedures

There is an updated check-in and check-out procedures at each hotel to minimize unnecessary contact, such as touchless payment and installation of clear panels at the front desks. New procedures may also impact late check out options to ensure appropriate time for cleaning between guests.

Hotel fitness centers

The hotel fitness centers have new cleaning and disinfecting procedures. The equipment has been moved to allow for spacing and there are changes in policy to control occupancy.

Other hotel safety efforts

Each hotel has invested in new equipment, such as air purifiers and UV lighting, as well as ensuring that all employees have undergone training.

Employee Training

To have a healthy campus, we must have healthy employees. To help ensure the health and safety of our guests, we have established new positions. The new positions include designated health/safety managers and food safety managers. Everyone will undergo additional training and be certified in these areas. The plan will also mandate minimum numbers of positions per shift.

As all employees return to work, they will receive training in:

  • Recognition of and reaction to individuals with or complaining of COVID-19 symptoms
  • Reporting any COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure to the virus and direction regarding staying at home or reporting to work
  • Social distancing and personal hygiene
  • Proper use and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Identifying high traffic and high touch areas that may require management to minimize congregating, and more frequent cleaning and sanitizing.

Employee PPE

McCormick Place and the campus hotels are distributing necessary equipment and providing necessary training to their respective employees regarding: 

  • Personal protective equipment, including proper use and disposal
  • Handwashing
  • Sanitizer dispensers/wipes
  • Laundering
  • New equipment, such as electrostatic misting, may create/require new positions

WASHABLE PREVENTATIVE MASK

  • Non-medical grade
  • Reusable and launderable
  • 3-Layer fabric mask with elastic ear loop
  • Home launder up to 75 washes
  • Following three masks per person
  • One wearing, one ready to use and one in the laundry

Event Protocol

Event Setup

Social distancing is recommended to reduce the chance of transmission, so additional space may be required or desired for meetings and events to maintain physical distancing. Working with you, we will also determine if the event’s desired use of the space requires an extended stay. For example, if fewer sessions will be held per day to accommodate physical distancing, meal breaks and cleaning/disinfecting, the show may require an extended stay.

Considerations for the space include:

  • Arrangement to maintain physical distancing, including within registration areas, exhibit halls, meeting rooms, and during banquets and mealtimes
  • Use of audio and visual technology to provide single meeting in multiple rooms, and provisions for audience interaction with speakers
  • Planning cleaning and disinfecting timing within an event day to allow adequate time for cleaning between room turnovers as well as deeper cleaning overnight.

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Parking and Transportation

There are new procedures and policies for guest arrival. For those guests who arrive via car there are changes to processes and protocols for onsite parking including:

  • Increasing the availability of non-touch payment methods for guests parking in campus self-park facilities and pre-payment services
  • Increasing cleaning of equipment and space, such as ticket machines
  • Use of PPE for parking staff

For guest arriving via shuttle bus, taxi, or rideshare, there will be dedicated transportation gates at each building and drop off areas will be stationed sufficiently apart to all for crowd distribution. Additionally, sidewalk graphics will be placed to promote social distancing.

During the Event

Food Service

The pandemic has had a substantial impact on restaurants and the foodservice industry more generally. Venue-specific plans have been developed for all campus locations, including the restaurants as well as event areas. These plans address the following items:

  • Provisions for staff, including staggering of meal breaks, presentation of food items, cleaning of service areas
  • Eliminating buffets and the methods of service that will be used
  • Provision of trays, utensils, napkins, condiments
  • Set-up for any sit-down dining service
  • Procedures for food packaging whether it be placed at the table for sit-down dining or packaged to go
  • Payment policies and procedures for individual guest meals
  • Procedures for removal of garbage, food waste

SAVOR, Hyatt, and Marriott will work with each event to determine the best food service option. This includes:

  • Space Considerations – Given limited seating in campus restaurants as well as guidelines for social distancing that limit no more than six guests per table, we will work with you to determine if there are needs for additional catering. Additionally, you may choose to reserve additional space for meals or stagger service times.
  • Serving procedures – To minimize contact, our food service team has a variety of offerings including box meals and other low contact options
  • Time considerations – Given the need for physical distancing in queues and while seated, Savor, Marriott and Hyatt will work with each event to determine whether:
    • Additional time is to be required for meal breaks
    • Shows will consider staggering meeting/break times to reduce queues and seating congestion
    • If breaks are staggered, which food service areas may require disinfecting between service periods
Communicating with Attendees

Attendees will be provided with advance information regarding the steps taken at McCormick Square in response to COVID-19, including transportation and procedures to expect. 

After arrival: The specific processes will be determined by the event organizer, but this may include things such as health screenings, staggered entry times, and social distancing for meetings, exhibit halls, banquets, and other activities.

After the Event

Move-Out and Tear-Down Considerations

Our team will work with you to determine if additional time will be necessary to maintain physical distancing for: check-in, movement within the event or within McCormick Square as well as cleaning and disinfecting of show floors and meeting rooms after initial move-in and final tear-down. 

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

As you may know, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. The virus has been detected in numerous locations internationally, including in the United States. As coronavirus continues to spread across the country and world, we wanted to reach out to you regarding preparations underway at McCormick Place.

The number one priority for the team at McCormick Place is the health and safety of our campus guests. We have no reason to believe coronavirus is present on our campus but will immediately inform our guests if we have reason to believe otherwise. We are working closely with public health officials to follow all recommendations and best practices regarding the virus. There have been no disruptions to any of the operations on our campus.

We are more than happy to work with you to develop plans and procedures specific to your event. We have also already taken several steps, including:

  • Increased cleaning – Our janitorial team adheres to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants. We are using Virex II 256, a recommended hospital-grade disinfectant, for cleaning.
  • In addition to the restrooms, we are using Virex II 256 on the high touch areas, such as:
    • Handrails
    • All info desks
    • All entrance revolving door handles, main door handles, and push bars
    • Public furniture
    • Water fountains
    • High-touch points in meeting rooms (door handles, podiums, etc.)
  • Increased hand sanitizer stations. We now have more hand sanitizer stations at high traffic locations. These stations are mobile, allowing us to deploy them based on the event schedules and traffics.
  • Staff training – All McCormick Place Security, Fire Safety, EMT and paramedic personnel have guidelines from our medical advisor on how to recognize possible symptoms of Coronavirus. In addition, our First Aid staff has received precautionary training in the event a guest came to our attention with Coronavirus-like symptoms.
  • Increased the outside air intake/air change rate during event hours.

If you have questions about your specific event, please contact your Event Manager. For more information, please review our Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions.

Protecting yourself from the virus

Some ways to protect yourself against coronavirus include:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and services
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water
  • Frequently use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

For more information on protecting yourself from coronavirus, please review the information provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

About Coronavirus

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. In December 2019, a new kind of coronavirus, COVID-19, was identified as the cause of various cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus has been detected in 50 areas internationally, including the United States. The virus is thought to be spread from person-to-person, particularly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet of each other).

The main symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

For more information on facts and figures, you can visit the World Health Organization’s Coronavirus Disease situation reports.

For more information on COVID-19 please follow the below links:

Frequently Asked Questions 

What preventative steps has McCormick Place taken against coronavirus?

Our number priority is always the health and safety of our guests. We have taken several steps to protect the campus including:

  • Increased cleaning – Our janitorial team adheres to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants. We are using Virex II 256, a recommended hospital-grade disinfectant, for cleaning. In addition to the restrooms, we are using a sanitizer on “high touch” areas, such as:
    • Handrails
    • All info desks
    • All entrance revolving door handles, main door handles, and push bars
    • Public furniture
    • Water fountains
    • High-touch points in meeting rooms (door handles, podiums, etc.)
  • Increased hand sanitizing stations—We had added more hand-washing stations at high traffic locations. These stations are mobile, allowing us to deploy them based on the event schedules and traffics.
  • Staff training – All McCormick Place Security, Fire Safety, EMT and paramedic personnel have guidelines from our medical advisor on how to recognize possible symptoms of Coronavirus. In addition, our First Aid staff has received precautionary training in the event a guest came to our attention with Coronavirus-like symptoms.
  • Increased the outside air intake/air change rate during event hours.

Have you added extra staff to address this situation?

While all staff will be equipped to disinfectant their assigned area, there are additional staff for the sole purpose of continuous cleaning of public space with Virex 256.

Do you have any medical staff on campus?

We have a campus medical director as well as experts on infectious disease that we consult with regarding issues like this The medical director works closely with the other first responders on campus, including EMTs, paramedics, and security to ensure our team is prepared for medical emergencies on campus, including communicable diseases.

If an event is cancelled, how will guest be notified?

The decision to cancel an event, and all subsequent communications, will be handled by the show organizer. We will help in whatever way we can.

General virus questions

How is coronavirus spread?

The virus is thought to be spread from person-to-person, particularly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet of each other).

What are some ways to avoid catching coronavirus?

Some ways to protect yourself against coronavirus include:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose
  • Wear a protective face mask when the ability to maintain a 6′ distance from other people is difficult
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and services
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water
  • Frequently use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Patients with coronavirus reported severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

 

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