Is it safe to stay in a AirBnB or Vacation Rental during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

To answer this question, we have reviewed studies conducted on rooms housing individuals testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 to determine how SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) spreads throughout a room.

One of the most thorough studies we reviewed was conducted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which tested over ten different rooms that housed individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. The tests conducted included air samples and surface samples. For the purpose of this discussion, we will focus primarily on the testing results on surfaces since COVID-19 can live on surfaces for (+-) 72 hours and can only remain in the air for (+-) 4 hours.

Surface samples came from common room surfaces, personal items, and toilets.  Below is a summary of the test results.

 Testing of surfaces in rooms that were occupied by people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

  • TV remotes - 55.6% positive
  • Bedside tables - 70.8% positive
  • Window ledges - 72.7% positive
  • Ventilation grates – 80.0% positive
  • Toilets - 81.0% positive
  • Flooring - 100% positive

Based on the information from this study, there is a significant risk in staying in an AirBnb/Vacation rental that was recently occupied by someone with COVID-19. The threat could be limited by the owner’s cleaning and disinfecting practices. If each rental property is disinfected, including the bedding, flooring, and all surfaces after each stay, then the risk could be reduced. If the AirBnB/Vcation Rental owner is using a long-lasting textile and surface protectant, such as a Si-Quat Antimicrobial Protector, then the risk can be significantly reduced compared to disinfecting alone.

Our recommendation is to check with the property before you book to learn more about their COVID-19 protocols. Make sure they are disinfecting and not just cleaning and sanitizing them. Ask if they are using a long-lasting protectant, such as a Si-Quat Antimicrobial Surface and Textile Protectant.