Hi all, I am a host who rents out my spare bedroom in a college town in Florida. I have been trying to find a way to safely navigate hosting during this time. Because I am in Florida and even more I am in a college town, I feel that I’m already very at risk for COVID. But, I also need to find a way to continue hosting to supplement my graduate school income. Because I share my space with my guests (even my bathroom), I feel that there’s very little I could do to keep from getting infected if someone with the virus entered my home. I have been asking my guests to get tested before they come and most of them have been very compliant (there is free testing in my town and I know most insurances cover it). Is this unethical to ask/request of my guests? Also, is it unethical to ask about their social distancing practices and how they have been trying to prevent the virus before coming to my home? I am also trying to get tested regularly especially before hosting someone new, and I feel I should be able to hold my guests to the same standard.
I'm not sure it makes any sense. The testing is helpful, but only tells you about exposure at that point in time. They can be negative on Monday and positive on Tuesday. Perhaps, better than doing noting at all. I would maybe hold off on hosting until the infection rate is at least below 5% in your locale.
I agree with @Ann783 , @Susan3850 . If you can go without hosting, that's the safest, but I understand about needing the income. Distancing, hand-washing, mask-wearing, and disinfecting that bathroom will do more good than any snapshot-in-time COVID test.
None of those things is unethical. You can write your own rules. But I know from having had a half dozen tests in the last two months (my industry requires it for everyone on every project), booking a test, getting there, and obsessively checking the website for the results so they have them in time will be a stressor for your guests and will do nothing to protect you.
Asking what they are doing to prevent the spread of the virus is fine. Remember, though, that guests often tell you what you want to hear, so maybe just tell them what the rules are in your home and don't bother asking what they are doing in their homes.
Do stay safe, okay?
@Susan3850 The ethical concerns here are debatable, but they're also beside the point. If your priority is to prevent yourself from getting infected, it would be delusional to think that you can effectively micromanage your guests' behaviors outside of the home. The fact that your listing is a shared household means that by default, guests who are genuinely concerned about taking precautions are not going to book with you. As @Lawrene0 said, people will tell you what you want to hear, and you're in no position to demand medical records.
If you can't organize your household in such a way that you could safely accommodate someone who happens to be a contagious carrier of the virus, it would be crazy to be hosting at all right now - especially considering you're still in one of the global hotspots.