Division Title

​COVID Assessment & Testing

COVID-19 Testing

The NIH has two in-house mechanisms for providing COVID-19 testing; for-cause and asymptomatic testing. For-cause testing is used for personnel that are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Asymptomatic testing is for personnel with no symptoms, and may include personnel that were exposed to COVID-19 positive cases, unvaccinated personnel with a medical or religious exemption, and personnel who are voluntarily submitting to routine testing.

For-Cause Testing

Personnel that report COVID-19 symptoms will be asked to have a COVID-19 PCR-based test. This may be performed in the community (at the employee’s expense) or at the NIH “Car-Line” testing facility. This facility is staffed by NIH personnel, including nurses, safety professionals, and emergency responders.

Regardless of vaccination or exposure status, any symptomatic personnel must not report to work and should test at the earliest For-Cause testing opportunity. Symptomatic personnel must report their change in health status to their case manager to confirm you received a PCR- base test during the appropriate timeframe. Personnel without an assigned case manager should complete the OMS COVID Screening Questionnaire.

Asymptomatic Testing

The NIH Clinical Center has established a program for testing asymptomatic staff for SARS-CoV-2. The program is voluntary but strongly encouraged for those working onsite. Personnel can schedule an appointment for asymptomatic testing by going to https://clinweb.cc.nih.gov/cct. To access the site, you need to be on NIH VPN, NIH IC CITRIX or a NIH Workstation. This portal can be used to select schedule testing at all NIH asymptomatic testing sites for all NIH locations.

The program offers saliva testing in addition to mid-turbinate swab testing. Mid-turbinate testing is the preferred testing method. For saliva testing, it is best to avoid eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum or tobacco for at least 30 minutes before sample collection.

If a staff member needs results documented in time for travel, e.g., to make an international flight, it is absolutely vital that the staff member being tested informs the staff doing the collection that the test is not routine and results are needed within 48 hours. The specimen should have a priority label placed on it to receive the special handling required to receive the results on time.

Asymptomatic Testing Locations.

Testing Site

Testing Site Building and Room

Testing Hour Locations

Bethesda, Maryland

(Main Campus)


Schedule varies due to demand, please check the Clinical Center Scheduling System website

Montgomery County,

Maryland (Off-campus)

Shady Grove Gym, 9609

Medical Center Drive

Wednesday 9:00AM to 11:00AM EST

Baltimore, Maryland



BRC Atrium

Monday through Thursday

10:00AM to 2:00PM EST

Frederick, Maryland (NCI-Frederick and IRF)

Building 426 Asymptomatic Testing


Wednesday 12:30PM to 2:00PM EST
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (NIEHS)Building 101 Parking Lot Asymptomatic Testing Site

Monday 7:30AM to 12:00PM EST

Tuesday 12:00PM to 5:00PM EST

Wednesday 12:00PM to 5:00PM EST

Thursday 7:30AM to 12:00PM EST

Hamilton, Montana

(RML Campus)

Building 11Monday 8:00AM to 10:00AM MST

Phoenix, Arizona

(NIDDK Phoenix)

Building 1/Room 401Monday 7:00AM to 12:30 MST

Testing Requirements at Medium and High Community Levels

When a location moves to medium or high community level, COVID-19 testing is required for all federal employees, trainees, volunteers, guest researchers and tenants entering an NIH government-owned or leased facility, when that person is not fully vaccinated (e.g., partially vaccinated, unvaccinated, pending medical/religious exemption, or unreported vaccination status). If you are not physically working at an NIH leased or owned facility, you are NOT subject to this requirement.

Tests results must be from a PCR-based test conducted by a licensed provider (e.g., your primary healthcare provider, a drug store, testing site, etc.) or a digital result from a proctored antigen test kit. Results from at-home antigen test kits that are not proctored will not be accepted.

Testing requirements based on vaccination status and personnel status (e.g., employee, trainee, contractor, visitor, etc.) are outlined in the table below.

Vaccination Status

Testing Req. Campus Access in Medium/ High Community Levels

FTE/ Trainee

Contractors/ Visitors

Not RespondedYes - weekly Yes - 72 hr.
prior to onsite
UnvaccinatedYes - weekly Yes - 72 hr.
prior to onsite
Partially vaccinated Yes - weekly Yes - 72 hr.
prior to onsite
Fully vaccinated with Primary Series NoNo
Up to Date with Vaccination NoNo

Federal employees and trainees must submit a test result to https://covid-rcms.ors.od.nih.gov/app/home each week that they come onsite. The test result must be of a test conducted from Sunday to Saturday of the week that they came onsite. For example, a trainee that has not submitted their vaccination records and comes to an NIH building on Tuesday, must submit a negative test result for a test taken that week. The negative test result must be from a PCR-based test or a proctored antigen test with a digital result. It must have been collected
Sunday through Saturday of the week they were onsite. A result from a test taken on the previous Saturday will not be regarded as meeting the requirement.

Contractors and visitors that are not fully vaccinated or who have not reported their vaccination status must be tested within 72 hours before visiting the campus. For example, if an unvaccinated visitor were to come to an NIH facility at noon Friday they must present a negative PCR or digital printout of a proctored antigen test kit where the sample was collected no earlier than noon on Tuesday.