Reopening McCormick Place

November 17, 2020

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

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

The number one priority for the team at McCormick Place is the health and safety of their campus guests and are working closely with public health officials to follow all recommendations and best practices regarding the virus.  For their full report - please visit and on their website at 

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