Division Title
Safety

This site lays out the expectations for NIH personnel working onsite. It is based on current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (SFWT).

 NIH Healthcare Facilities Facial Covering Requirements

Healthcare facilities and locations with healthcare support activities have elevated safety needs and must maintain the use of facial coverings at all times, even when a site is in low or medium based on CDC community levels (see below). The NIH has designated the following facilities as subject to the facial covering requirements for healthcare facilities, due to the direct presence of patients or the integral functions they serve that directly impact healthcare operations:

  • The entire Building 10 complex (CC, ACRF, CRC, etc.)
  • The Children's Inn
  • Safra Family Lodge
  • Harbor Hospital NIA facilities
  • NIDA BRC clinical facilities
  • NIEHS Clinical Research Unit (Building 109)
  • Phoenix Indian Medical Center (NIDDK)
  • NIH Asymptomatic Testing Sites
  • NIH Fire and Rescue Services during delivery of patient care
  • All animal care facilities (when working directly with or handling animals- see Animal Program Director for specifics)
  • All security guard posts at all gates at locations with healthcare operations
  • All NIH childcare centers at locations with healthcare operations
  • Community health clinics operated or staffed by NIH employees
  • All NIH Patient Shuttles, including shuttles stopping at Safra Family Lodge Shuttles and the Children's' Inn.

NIH Workplace Community Levels

This page provides a summary of some key elements that change based on workplace community levels. Personnel working on site can find the complete COVID-19 Safety Plan by clicking on the button below.



NIH locations will be evaluated weekly against the CDC workplace community level for the county where they are located. Table 1 below identifies the current workplace community level for each NIH location. The workplace community levels can be found at the CDC COVID-19 by County website.

 

Table 1. COVID-19 Workplace Community Level by County – May 13, 2022.


Location

Workplace Community Level

NIH Main Campus and Montgomery County, MD facilitiesMedium
NIAID-IRF and Frederick National Laboratories (NCI) at FrederickLow
Bayview Research CenterMedium
Rocky Mountain LaboratoriesLow
NIEHS-RTP (Durham County)Low
NIDDK-PhoenixLow

NHLBI Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA

High

​NICHD-Detroit, MI

High
​Other Location Not ListedSee CDC Community Level Page

Table 2 (below) outlines some of the more common requirements that change based on workplace community level. Please note that the table is not comprehensive of all changes, only the most common changes. These requirements apply to all personnel on campus, including Federal staff, trainees, contractors and visitors. For more information on work requirements associated with the different community levels please visit the NIH COVID-19 Safety Plan. You may also reach out to your IC safety and health specialist if you have additional questions.


Table 2. Workplace Community Level Requirements


Workplace Community
Level

LOW MEDIUM HIGH*

Facial Covering Requirements

Optional (Recommended)Optional (Recommended)Required

Physical Distancing

Optional6 Feet of Physical Distancing Required in All Buildings6 Feet of Physical Distancing Required in All Buildings

Density Requirements

OptionalOptionalRequired. See Physical Distancing and Onsite Density Requirements for more detail.

Testing

Optional Required for unvaccinated personnel, including contractors, trainees, and visitors. See Testing Requirements at Medium and High Community Levels for more details.Required for unvaccinated personnel, including contractors, trainees, and visitors. See Testing Requirements at Medium and High Community Levels for more details.

Meetings*

In person permitted, hybrid advised. Notify ORS of any meetings with 50+ attendees. See Meetings page for additional information.In person permitted, hybrid advised. Notify ORS of any meetings with 50+ attendees. See Meetings page for additional information.Virtual preferred. All in person must be reviewed by DOHS. Request approval from HHS and NIH for in person with 50+ attendees. See Meetings page for additional information.
*ORS must be notified of meetings with 50+ attendees during "LOW" and "MEDIUM" community levels. At "HIGH" community levels the HHS requirements and approval process remain in place for meetings with 50+ in-person attendees. The process for notification and approval can be found here. Please review the specific community levels for more information.

Personnel are encouraged to reference the NIH COVID-19 Safety Plan for valuable information on a variety of topics that will assist them is preventing COVID-19 spread in the workplace.  Critical information on the following topics (and much more) can be found in the guide:

CDC Community Level Assessment

CDC looks at the combination of three metrics — new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days — to determine the COVID-19 community level. New COVID-19 admissions and the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied represent the current potential for strain on the health system. Data on new cases acts as an early warning indicator of potential increases in health system strain in the event of a COVID-19 surge.

NIH COVID-19 Safety Guidance Footer