We have all been there, you have work or travel plans and you feel yourself coming down with a cold. The same story goes for our Airbnb guests, and many won’t cancel their flights, car rentals and accommodation (like us, right?) So, keeping your Airbnb germ-free during the cold season will be as important to your health as is it for the next guest checking-in.
Maybe you have a shared space or a separate suite in your home. Some Airbnb’s share the heating system and air circulation. If your Airbnb is a separate house or apartment, you’ll just need to assume guests could have colds when cleaning during the flu season. Here are some steps you can take to ensure germs are not left behind at check-out.
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.
Given the health and safety risks posed by this virus, Airbnb is asking all hosts and guests to please review your local authorities’ travel guidance and health advisories related to this outbreak, in addition to global guidance from the WHO. Airbnb strongly urges the community to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself when hosting or traveling.
Shared Space = Shared Germs
It can be frustrating when a new guest has an obvious cold and arrives coughing and sneezing. Your first thought may be to turn them away but try to be compassionate and offer them a cup of hot tea and lemon. You can then mention in conversation “I’m so sorry you’re not feeling well, as we will be living together in a shared space let’s try to not spread the germs. Thank you to use the hand sanitizer and your own bathroom.” Chances are your guest is considerate and will try their best to contain their illness.
If your guest is very ill, hopefully, they will stay confined to their room and bathroom. This will reduce exposure to the rest of the house and limit the number of rooms you have to disinfect when you have sick Airbnb guests.
Ways to Protect Yourself
There are a number of things that are grounds for canceling guests stay, but having the flu is not one of them. Follow these common-sense steps to keep the germ levels down:
- Once a sick guest is in your Airbnb the best defense is to wash your hands frequently, and make sure your guest uses the private washroom you provide.
- Take and offer guests either Airborne, Zicam or Emergen-C. They really help ward off and shorten colds.
- If you are sharing a bathroom, with a Clorox wipe, clean the faucet and toilet and light switch before you use the washroom. This will really only take 5-10 seconds.
- Provide a box of kleenex and hand sanitizer in the bathrooms and on the nightstand of the guest.
- Place a wastebasket in the guest’s room to catch all those used tissues — and make sure to line the basket with a plastic bag to minimize contact with germs.
- If you haven’t already got a flu shot, now may be the time.
If your Airbnb shares heat and air circulation with your living space, there are some steps you can take before you may have sick Airbnb guests.
- Have a solid air purifier that is able to filter out bacteria and viruses in your living space.
- Add a virus and germ filter to your furnace.
Since the flu virus can live on hard surfaces for 24 hours, disinfect surfaces that the sick person has touched, paying special attention to the sick guests’ bathroom and bedroom. Consider adopting some extra sanitizing into your cleaning routine during the flu season. Taking basic cleaning steps for the sick Airbnb guests will remove the germ issue for the next person. After the guest leaves:
- Open the windows of their room and bathroom for at least 20 mins to change the air.
- Use antibacterial wipes on key spots such
as:tabletops, countertops, remote controls, doorknobs, sinks, light switches, faucet handles, sinks, countertop, tub and toilet (including the entire seat and the toilet handle).
Sanitize the Laundry
A sick guest’s towels and bedding are full of germs, so don’t “hug” dirty clothes as you take them to the washer. This could spread the germs onto you. Instead, wear rubber gloves and transport dirty clothes in a laundry basket and wash your hands after loading the washer. Let soak in hot water for 30 mins with detergent and 1/4 cup of bleach. Wash and dry normally.
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I hope this helps you to prepare for the event of a guest arriving sick. Y