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NIH Visitors and Security

The National Institutes of Health, like all Federal Government facilities, has instituted new security measures to ensure the safety of NIH employees, patients, and visitors.

The Department of Homeland Security has raised the national threat advisory level to the Yellow (elevated) level. http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/.

Many of you have asked questions about emergency planning and preparedness at the NIH. For this information, please visit the following website: http://www.nih.gov/od/ors/security/emergencyfaq.htm.

Perimeter Security
All employees must present a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) photo ID badge (for example, your NIH-issued ID badge) and valid parking tag.

All visitor and commercial vehicles will be inspected. Visitors must show one (1) form of identification (a government-issued photo ID — driver’s license, passport, green card, etc.)

All shuttle buses from off-campus facilities will undergo inspection at the campus perimeter, but will be allowed to enter and circulate on campus once inspected.

Building Security
A guard presence or active ID card readers will monitor entrances at all times.

Employees are encouraged to be vigilant and report anyone using unauthorized entrances or suspicious activity to the NIH Police at 301-496-5685.

At building entrances where guards are posted, employees must show a DHHS-issued photo ID (for example, your NIH-issued ID badge). Visitors must show one (1) form of identification (a government-issued photo ID (i.e. Federal employee badge, driver’s license, passport, green card, etc.) All visitors should be prepared to have their personal belongings inspected and go through a metal detection inspection (wand, magnetometer, etc). All visitors may be escorted to and from their destination within buildings. Similar, appropriate security adjustments will be made at off-campus facilities.

Meetings and Special Events
Mission related activities are allowed during normal business hours but require special permission for groups of 50 or more. Mission related activities during evenings and weekends for all groups require special permission. All events that have been previously approved will need to be re-evaluated under the higher security level. Contact NIH Special Events for guidance: 301-496-9966.

Getting On and Off Campus
Tune your radios to 1660 AM for further NIH traffic, parking and security advisories. For questions, please contact the ORS Information Line at orsinfo@mail.nih.gov or 301-594-6677, TTY - 301-435-1908.

All visitors including patients, contractors, vendors and delivery persons must use the following entrances (see the Adobe Acrobat graphic Visitors Campus Access Map):

Weekdays:

Wilson Drive at Rockville Pike: Open (Employees Only)
5 am to 10 am - Inbound traffic only
10 am to 9 pm - Inbound and Outbound traffic
9 pm to 5 am - Closed to all traffic

South Drive at Rockville Pike (Metro): Open
Open 24 hours - Inbound and Outbound traffic

Center Drive at Rockville Pike: Open
6 am to 10 am - Inbound traffic only
10 am to 7 pm - Inbound and Outbound traffic
7 pm to 6 am - Closed to all traffic

Lincoln Drive at Old Georgetown Road: Open (Employees Only)
6 am to 7 pm - Inbound & Outbound traffic
7 pm to 6 am - Closed to all traffic

South Drive at Old Georgetown Road: Open (Employees Only)
5 am to 9 pm - Inbound and Outbound traffic
9 pm to 5 am - Closed to all traffic
Expect Intermittent Closures and Traffic Interruptions at South Drive & Old Georgetown Road from August 2 to Mid-October Due to Construction
, Employees should also expect intermittent traffic interruptions on Convent Drive because of the temporary closure of South Drive.

Center Drive at Old Georgetown Road: Open (traffic pattern map)
(Primary entrance for patients, visitors and commercial vehicles)

5 am to 2 pm - Inbound traffic only
2 pm to 7 pm - Inbound and Outbound traffic
7 pm to 5 am - Closed to all traffic

North Drive at Rockville Pike: Open (Employees Only)
5 am to 7 pm - Inbound and Outbound traffic
7 pm to 5 am - Closed to all traffic

West Drive at Cedar Lane: Closed
Closed to vehicles, but currently open as a pedestrian entrance. Future patient/patient visitor vehicular entrance.

Zelkova Lane at Cedar Lane: Closed Permanently
Temporary pedestrian access

Garden Lane at Cedar Lane: Closed Permanently to vehicles
Future location of Pedestrian access point, but closed permanently to vehicles


After Hours and Weekend Campus Access::

Weeknights
South Drive at Rockville Pike (Metro)
7 pm to 6 am

Weekends
South Drive at Rockville Pike (Metro)
Open 24 hours - Inbound and Outbound traffic

Center Drive at Old Georgetown Road:
5 am to 6 pm - Inbound and Outbound traffic
6 pm to 5 am - Closed to all traffic

South Drive & Old Georgetown Road - Closed to all traffic

All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel and airport shuttles, delivery trucks and vans will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one (1) form of identification (a government-issued photo
ID — driver’s license, passport, green card, etc.) and to state the purpose of their visit. Be sure to allow extra time for this vehicle inspection procedure.

Please note: visitor parking is limited at NIH. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation such as the Metrorail subway system which has a convenient stop (Medical Center) on the NIH campus. Visit the "Metro" site for information on fares and schedules http://www.wmata.com/.

Visitor Parking and Transportation
Visitors must park in designated visitor parking lots (see the Adobe Acrobat graphic Visitors Campus Access Map). Patients may park 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the Clinical Center garage, P-3 level. Vehicles will be inspected prior to parking in underground or multi-level garages.

Public buses are no longer allowed to circulate on campus. Visitors arriving by bus will be dropped off at the NIH/Medical Center Metro stop at Rockville Pike and South Drive. Patients and visitors on official business can then ride the Campus Shuttle to the Clinical Center and other designated shuttle stops on the campus.

Access to NIH Buildings
Before being given entrance to any building, visitors:

  1. All visitors should be prepared to show one (1) form of identification (government-issued photo
    ID — driver’s license, passport, green card, etc.)
  2. Visitors may be required to log in at building entrances, wear a visitors pass and have an employee to escort them through the building. Visitors may be required to pass through a metal detector and have bags, backpacks or purses inspected or x-rayed as they enter buildings.
  3. Security staff will be looking for and confiscating any suspicious or potentially dangerous materials. U.S. Code prohibits bringing any dangerous weapons onto Federal property, including anything with a blade longer than 2 ½ inches. Meeting participants may want to leave extra bags or personal materials at their hotel to minimize the time needed for inspection.
  4. May need to call for an employee to escort them through the building.

Vendors and contractors with frequent official business at NIH can be issued special temporary IDs. You must provide an original letter on company letter head or a memo from your NIH Project Officer justifying your need for a temporary ID. The letter/memo must contain your full name and date of birth and must be presented in person with a valid photo ID at the NIH Parking Office in Building 31C, B3 level, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (phone 301-496-6851).

Special Information for Clinical Center Patients
Patients arriving at the main entrance to the Clinical Center will be asked for one (1) form of identification (a government-issued photo ID — driver’s license, passport, green card, etc.) Bags and luggage may be inspected. You will be issued a Visitors Pass that should be worn at all times in the Clinical Center and while on the campus. If you are unable to wait in line for this procedure, please inform the security staff who will notify a member of the Clinical Center's Hospitality Staff to come and assist you.

Valet parking service is available for Clinical Center patients and patient visitors. You may drive directly to the South Main entrance of the Clinical Center where a valet parking attendant will park your vehicle in the parking lot adjacent to the main entrance and return it at the end or your stay. There is no charge for the service but your parking claim ticket must be validated at the Clinical Center parking validation desk near the admissions desk in the north lobby.

  1. CC patient — campus access — http://www.cc.nih.gov/about/visitor/heightensecurity.shtml
  2. CC visitor info site — http://www.cc.nih.gov/about/visitor.shtml
  3. Patient travel and transportation information — (301) 496-3141
  4. Clinical Center Patient Representative — (301) 496-2626
 
This page was last reviewed on October 15, 2004 .

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