Covid Update + Protocol Suggestions for Camp (and Your Summer)…

by Reid on June 2, 2024

Image of four happy people wearing bathing suits skipping across a green field in summer time

Hey, SexGeek!

Reid here with an important announcement regarding Covid and other illnesses currently rearing their inconvenient heads at retreats I’ve been attending.

As you may know, Sex Geek Summer Camp (my business retreat for educators) is rapidly approaching. I have 107 Campers about to spend 6 days and nights together, and I want Camp to be as fun and healthy for everyone as possible.  

Since many of you may be planning on attending big events this summer, and/or running your own, or registering for Camp super last minute… It felt like this email might be useful for everyone. Feel free to FWD it to those who might benefit from it, SexGeek.

As you read, wherever I say Camp, just swap it for whatever event(s) you’re going to… Of course, each event’s protocols might be different, but this is what I’m doing and how I’m approaching making Camp safer*.

*The understanding being that large gatherings are high-risk activities and that the only way to create 100% safety is by not attending. Just so you know, my intention for Camp has always been that no one has to go to the hospital or dies on account of serious illness/Covid. This intention informs many of my policy design choices, which will never be perfect but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to be smart and pragmatic while we increase and practice our harm reduction skills. 

As a nerd, if you’d like to check out my previous Covid Resource page, many of the links, resources, and approaches, I feel, are still sound. 


  • Get a Covid booster/vaccine ASAP if you qualify for one
  • Strongly recommend scheduling a PRC test so you get your results right before you travel to Camp (your event) – and, if you’ve recently had Covid, please read more below…
  • Start doing throat swabbing AND nasal swabbing with your rapid tests (they are more accurate if done with both a throat swab and a nasal swab—regardless of what the instructions say. This is important because the newer strains are detectable in the throat as much as 48 hours *before* they would be detectable in the nose. Instructions attached below).
  • Recommend upping your Covid prevention protocols and vigilance (masking and avoiding large groups, hand washing, etc) 5-10 days before you travel
  • Bring extra N95 or KN95 masks to Camp and wear them more (masking is still the most effective way to prevent infection and spread)
  • Bring your own rapid tests to your event – enough to test daily
  • Bring the specific nasal sprays and mouth rinses to Camp recommended below and use them (I believe these helped me TREMENDOUSLY in avoiding Covid at a recent event – more below)
  • Do not come to Camp (or your event) if you’re feeling even the tiniest bit under the weather
  • Have a plan for “What if I get ill at the event?” and how you’re going to take care of yourself and those around you 
  • If you’re coming to Camp, re-read Camp’s Covid plan (


Recently, there’s been a surge in cases of Covid, strep throat, and flu in the Bay Area and other parts of the country. I recently taught a week-long retreat in Mexico as well as a 4-day one in Northern California last weekend… And Covid, strep, and the flu showed up HARD at both. 

This new Covid variant seems to be spreading rapidly and symptoms are appearing quickly. From my observations, it seems like this new Covid variant isn’t playing nice with your standard rapid tests (this is anecdotal and not science back info at the moment), which means it might be harder to identify if you or someone has Covid via rapid testing before attending an event or during an event. (This is why I am recommending getting a PCR test before you travel to your event or looking into more sophisticated at-home testing kits – links below.)


Camp happens in less than 14 days. Your choices in the next two weeks can significantly impact your ability to participate in SGSC24 and help add to the safety of others.

NOW is a great time to ratchet up your Covid awareness and prevention protocols. Please be vigilant about your choices regarding large, indoor gatherings and close, sustained, unmasked contact with others to keep yourself and our community safe.

Camp is not a truly “closed container” in that there is no strict quarantine period before Campers engage with one another and the “bubble” isn’t 100% closed.

  • Most Campers travel on public transportation to and from Camp
  • Some Campers stay off-site at AirBnBs
  • Some support staff have to go into town to the laundromat to wash sheets
  • The venue staff, while Covid contentious, isn’t quarantining before Campers arrive, isn’t “bubbling up” and may leave and return to the venue, etc.
  • There is also a Shameless Sex public event happening in Portland the Sunday night of Camp that some Campers will performing in or attending and then coming back to Camp. 

Our current Camp Covid Policy and Safety Plan requires everyone to show proof of vaccination and have a negative test result before entering Camp or getting on the Camp Bus. A photo of your negative test taken the day you arrive is acceptable.

Here are additional steps we strongly advise you to take before Camp:

  • If you haven’t received the most recent vaccine in the last 6 months, please do so AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to reach full strength, and Camp is approaching quickly.
  • If you haven’t had Covid recently, schedule a PCR test for a few days before your flight so you get your results right before you travel*. If a PCR test isn’t possible, consider a more sophisticated, at-home test like Metrix or Lucira (order in advance). 
    • *FYI, PCR tests are so sensitive that, if you’ve recently gotten over Covid, they can/might detect untransmissable levels from your post-transmissable infection… So, if you’ve recently had Covid, you could test positive but not be infectious.
    • If you haven’t had Covid recently, then a PCR test is definitely a great idea.
  • Consider reading up on and ordering (links below) one of the specific nasal sprays and mouth rinses that reduce your risk of contracting Covid and use them at Camp. (I believed these helped me TREMENDOUSLY in avoiding Covid at a recent event where folks I had close, intimate contact got Covid and I did not)
  • If you can’t access a PCR test, at least take a rapid test before leaving for travel.
  • Start taking your rapid tests by doing a throat swab AND nasal swab.
    • Rapid tests are more accurate if done with both a throat swab and a nasal swab—regardless of what the instructions say.  This is important because the newer strains are detectable in the throat as much as 48 hours *before* they would be detectable in the nose.  Instructions attached below.
  • Please bring at least 6 rapid tests to Camp with you so we can encourage everyone to be testing daily. We don’t have it in the budget this year to buy 107 Campers 6 tests. We are working on getting more tests, but can’t guarantee it. We strongly encourage you to bring tests with you.
  • If you experience any symptoms (fever, cough, other flu symptoms) in the days leading up to Camp, even if it’s not Covid, please take care of the community by not attending. The monies you invested in Camp will be turned into Reid Bucks and you will be able to use them on another Reid event and online Reid courses.
  • Have a backup plan already in place if you should come down with something during Camp. Camp’s policy is that we will do our best to move you into a quarantine-type situation away from the rest of the Campers and bring you your meals, but due to the housing accommodations at Camp Cedar Ridge, if we move you, it will be into a separate wing of the bunk house structures and not somewhere in the lodge or bunk house where non-Covid folks are at (since masking while you sleep and while sharing rooms/hallways/bathrooms is not completely realistic nor full-proof). If you get sick, you may wish to leave Camp entirely, which also means arranging your own transportation off-site. Please plan in advance. 

There is no way that this email can cover everything, but I did want to give everyone a heads-up and share some of my best practices and thinking.

Stay tuned for more updates about camp. We are closely monitoring the situation and may need to make further adjustments to Camp’s COVID Policy.

Thanks for keeping us safe, everyone!


While masking is still the most effective way to prevent infection and spread, there are a couple of other highly effective mitigation techniques that don’t get as much attention and are easy to add to your collection. I’d like to share them with you. (Links below with sources and products)

NASAL SPRAYS (Link to info)

One of the easiest is Nasal Sprays. Certain nasal sprays, like those containing xylitol or iota-carrageenan, have been shown to reduce the relative risk of infection by 62-80%. A couple of quick spritzes in each nostril and you’re protection improves for 6-8 hours at a time. These can be used before, during, or after being in higher exposure environments. Additionally, these sprays are designed for regular daily use for decongestion. So you don’t have to worry about overdoing it.


Another great tool is using mouthwash with the CPC (Cetylpyridinium Chloride for you sciency nerds). Gargling 10 – 20 ml (about half an ounce) for 30 seconds has shown a 50-97% reduction in COVID-19 viral loads in saliva after exposure. (One note on the CPC Mouthwash is that a small percentage of the time, it causes teeth staining. It’s not permanent and comes off with teeth cleaning at the dentist.) 

Taken together, these two methods could greatly reduce the likelihood of getting or spreading COVID-19 as well as potentially reducing its severity if you did catch it. 

Examples of Sprays:

Examples of Mouthwashes:

More Sophisticated At-Home Testing Kits:

  • If a PCR test isn’t possible, consider a more sophisticated, at-home PCR test like Metrix or Lucira

PPs. FWD this to an educator friend who’s on the fence about coming to Camp and tell them to register ASAP!!!

Throat AND Nasal Swabbing Instructions

Throat + nasal swabbing can be done with almost any testing kit. These directions come from the Celltrion DiaTrust Covid-19 AG Home Test.

Directions on throat/nasal swabbing approach from the Celltrion DiaTrust Covid-19 AG Home Test instrutions

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