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Access to House office buildings limited as return from recess is delayed, staff work from home

Effort to limit spread of coronavirus will affect access points

Tours of the U.S. Capitol remain suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tours of the U.S. Capitol remain suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Doors and entrances to House office buildings will be limited starting March 23, according to a House sergeant-at-arms memo obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Capitol Police will reduce the number of entrances open even to members and staff . Visitors with official business in any of the House office buildings will have to enter through the Longworth South Capitol Street door and must be greeted outside this entrance by staff and escorted to their appointment.

“These temporary closures will enable Capitol Police and Sergeant at Arms staff to maximize resources during this period,” House SAA Paul D. Irving said in the memo. “When the House returns to regular sessions, doors will reopen as usual.”

The House has delayed its return from recess and many staffs have been instructed to work from home to promote social distancing practices to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Capitol Visitor Center remains closed to the public and access to the Capitol will remain limited to lawmakers, staff and business visitors with appointments. A full list of door availability and hours can be found below.

The House Daily Press Gallery also announced that next week that while press Capitol workspaces will remain open to reporters, gallery staff will work remotely until the House returns.

“Going forward for as long as the full House stays away from the Capitol, my staff and I will be working remotely,” House Daily Press Gallery Superintendent Annie Tin wrote in a Thursday memo. “The only time we’d have a staff member physically present in the press gallery would be to handle the pro forma sessions that are expected to occur every three days. This person would only come in for this task, then leave again so as to minimize his/her exposure in a public space.”

These changes come on the heels of two House members testing positive for COVID-19 and a delay in the return of the House from recess.

The following vehicle barricades, garages and pedestrian entrances will be open starting on March 23, according to the sergeant-at-arms memo:

Pedestrian Access

— Cannon HOB Northwest Door (ADA) 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM
— Cannon HOB C Street Temporary Door (ADA) 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM
— Longworth HOB South Capitol Street Door (ADA) 24 hours
— Rayburn HOB First Street Pedestrian Door 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM
— Rayburn HOB Horseshoe Door (ADA) 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM
— Ford HOB Second Street Door (ADA) 24 hours
— O’Neill HOB Second Street Door (ADA) 24 hours

Vehicular Barricades

— New Jersey Avenue & Independence Avenue, SE 24 hours
— First Street & C Street, SE (C Street) 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM
— Washington Avenue & C Street, SW (C Street) 5:00 AM – 7:00 PM
— First Street, SW & Washington Avenue (First Street) 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM
— First Street & Independence Avenue, SW (Outbound Only) 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM
— Second Street, SW & Virginia Avenue 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM
— Third Street, SW & Virginia Avenue (Outbound Only) 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Garages and Garage Lobbies

— Rayburn HOB C Street Garage 24 hours
— Rayburn HOB First Street Garage 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM
— Rayburn HOB Lobby 1 (from garage) 24 hours
— Rayburn HOB Lobby 8 (from garage) 24 hours
— Rayburn HOB Lobby 3 (from garage) 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
— Cannon HOB Garage 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM
— Cannon Northwest Garage Screening 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM
— Upper D Street/East House Underground Garage 5:00 AM – 12:30 AM
— Longworth/East HUG Screening 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM
— Ford House Office Building Garage 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM
— O’Neill House Office Building Garage 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM

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