COVID-19 Cheat Sheet for Vacation Rental Managers

How to Keep Staff, Guests, and Owners Safe During COVID-19


As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, businesses are realizing that health and safety habits will remain a part of their daily workflow. But knowing what processes to follow can be a challenge when guidelines from the WHO, CDC, OSHA, and the FDA have been continually changing.

Fortunately, this article distills the important information down to a usable list that provides a basic guideline for creating new safety procedures for staff, guests, and managers.

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Basic Assumptions

Since viruses cannot always be detected, you should assume that:

  • You have the virus. — Wear a mask or face covering to protect others from your germs and stay six feet apart.
  • Others have the virus. — Wash your hands properly and follow best hygiene practices.

Signs You Are Sick

You might be sick if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • 100.4-degree or higher temperature
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

COVID-19 has two additional symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste or smell

If you suspect you are sick, get tested for COVID-19. If you test positive, stay home for at least 10 days.

Before You Return to Work

Before returning to work after a sickness, be sure all four of the following are true:

  • Twenty-four hours have passed since you had a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher.
  • Your fever went away on its own, without the use of medicine.
  • Other symptoms have improved.
  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

Practice Personal Hygiene

Practice good hand washing techniques—wet, lather, and scrub for 20 seconds before rinsing and drying. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment

Learn how to properly use and take off personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks, booties and gloves.

Guidelines for Housekeepers and Other Staff

The risk of cleaning staff’s exposure to COVID-19 is inherently low, but precautions should still be taken. Make sure that your housekeepers and staff follow the guidelines below to keep themselves and others safe.

  • Wear clean clothes to work.
  • Do not carpool with someone who lives outside your household.
  • Stay six feet away from other staff and guests.
  • Wear a clean mask or face covering, gloves, booties, or gown before entering each property.
  • Dispose of gloves and wipes in a plastic trash bag.
  • Gloves should always be worn and changed when going from a dirty task to a clean task. For example, after loading dirty sheets into the washing machine remove the dirty glove, wash your hands, then put on clean gloves before handling clean sheets pulled from the dryer.
  • Clean hard and soft surfaces before applying disinfectant.
  • Vacuum with the doors closed to minimize germ spread.
  • When cleaning toilets, flush with the seat down and face turned away.
  • After cleaning, perform a final disinfection of all high-touch areas, including door knobs and pulls, light switches, phones, faucets, toys, remote controls, and other devices.
  • Leave shoes outside after returning home. Wash all clothes immediately and take a shower.

Guidelines for Guests

You may want to write the following tips in your guest instructions pamphlet or manual.

  • Open windows one hour before leaving, if security or weather allow.
  • Leave used dishware, pots, pans, and utensils out on the counter.
  • Strip all beds and place bedding in a cloth bag.
  • Inform the property manager immediately if anyone is sick or has been around a sick person.
  • Wash hands following proper procedures after entering the property.
  • Wear masks or cloth face coverings, and practice social distancing when visiting indoor public spaces during the stay.

Guidelines for Managers

Managers can do their part in keeping others safe by following the guidelines below.

  • If possible, keep a 24-hour period between guests leaving and staff entering the property. If this is not possible, staff should wear N95 masks.
  • Teach the current protocols for health, handwashing, PPE, and disinfection to every staff member, including cleaners, inspectors, maintenance workers, and anyone else entering the property.
  • Communicate with guests about expectations.

If staff, guests, owners and managers all take the time to learn these guidelines and procedures, they will be doing their part to slow the spread and keep our businesses open.

VRScheduler has created to help staff learn and retain these important concepts of health, safety and disinfection during COVID-19.