The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

APS Operations and General User Programs During the COVID Pandemic


This announcement covers new site access requirements for general users and non-experimental access to the Advanced Photon Source (APS). 

Argonne continues to implement necessary safety measures to protect our employees and users from the negative impacts of COVID-19 on our personal health and on our scientific mission.

Following the White House Executive Orders and full FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine, Argonne adopted a new policy that requires all laboratory employees to verify that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and put in place new protocols for users and visitors to access laboratory sites.   

Argonne and the APS remain in a state of limited operations. Mail-in/remote experiments continue, and on-site experimenter presence is permitted ONLY for experiments that have gone through a pre-approval process based on need for access. The number of users allowed on site also remains capped on a per-experiment basis.

The only general users allowed onsite at the APS are:

  • Those identified as onsite users on approved ESAFs; or
  • Those approved for site access by gate pass.

Starting September 20, 2021, all general users and visitors to Argonne facilities, who are not Argonne employees or Collaborative Access Team (CAT) operations staff, will be required to report to the Argonne Information Center (AIC).

Before site access is granted, general users and visitors must:

  • attest to their vaccination status (form will be provided at the AIC)
  • if not fully vaccinated, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that is less than 72 hours old.

While onsite, all are required to:

  • wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status, and
  • maintain six-foot social distancing. 

General Rules:

  • All general users should have their attestation form, and negative COVID-19 test result if applicable, with them at all times, for the duration of their time onsite at Argonne.
  • Argonne will accept printed test results from either a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a rapid antigen test performed by a healthcare provider no more than 72 hours prior to entry. Results from at-home testing kits will not be accepted.
  • General users and visitors arriving at Argonne outside normal business hours (6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. central time Monday through Friday) should contact the APS User Office at to provide an attestation form or proof of a negative COVID-19 test that is less than 72 hours old before arrival.


  • Must have valid access dates in My APS Portal  
  • Must be listed as an onsite user on an approved ESAF form
  • Site access credentials and a corresponding prox card will be issued to named onsite users on an approved ESAF and will be valid only for the facility-approved experiment duration.
  • At the conclusion of an experiment, users can drop prox cards in containers located in each laboratory/office module (LOM) by the exit door. Users also can choose to hold onto the prox card for re-activation and re-use during a future visit.
  • If, instead of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result is presented, users will receive a short-term gate pass and prox card for up to three days, based on the date of your test result. If your visit duration exceeds the expiration date on your gate pass, you will need to take another COVID-19 test and provide proof of a negative result at the AIC to renew your gate pass. Rapid COVID-19 testing for general users is not available at Argonne; you must use an external provider.


General users coming to APS for non-experiment purposes can request a gate pass in My APS Portal. 

Visitors coming to APS for non-experiment purposes should request a gate pass by completing a visitor registration form

All visitors to Argonne facilities are then required to report to the AIC. Before site access will be granted, general users and visitors must:

  • attest to their vaccination status (form will be provided at the AIC)
  • if not fully vaccinated, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that is less than 72 hours old.

Failure by any individual to comply with the protocols above will be treated as a safety violation and will be escalated through applicable division management with notification to Worker Safety and Health representatives. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, so will Argonne’s approach to keeping each other safe and healthy so that we can carry out our critical research. Please make sure to verify the latest processes for site access before making plans to travel to Argonne. We appreciate your continued cooperation.  Users should check the COVID-19 Info link at to confirm current site access requirements before they come to the APS.

QUESTIONS pertaining to approval for onsite experiments or site access requirements should be sent to


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