WHATCOM ­— In support of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order issued Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee, the Whatcom County Jail and Work Center will temporarily stop all on-site visiting starting Wednesday March 25.
  
The online visiting that is offered at the work center will continue. When the “Stay at Home” order is lifted, a limited restart of on-site visiting at both facilities it is anticipated.
  
“We know this is a difficult time for the offenders in the facilities as well as their families and friends, and would ask that people continue to reach out using mail and the offender phone system,” the county said in an email.
  
Also, in order to assist with reducing the coronavirus disease threat, both of the Whatcom County corrections facilities have enacted restricted access to their public lobbies and reception windows.
  
The downtown Bellingham jail and work center have closed their public windows for all but essential services. The lobbies of both facilities will be open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., so that bail can be posted or funds can be left for offenders.
  
Bail and money may be deposited at the jail only by using the on-site kiosk or online services. Read the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Corrections page for information how to access the online services.
  
Reception at both facilities will still be answering phone calls (360-778-6500) and providing information to members of the public between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
  
Also, as of Tuesday, March 24, very limited offender visitation is allowed at the downtown jail on the weekends. Offenders will be allowed one visitor for one hour. Other family or friends will no longer be allowed to wait in the lobby, due to the social distancing requirements that have been ordered to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
  
Please check the Sheriff’s Office webpage Corrections section prior to coming to visit, as the rules may suddenly change due to new information or state/federal requirements.
  
Bail bonding companies should call the jail (360-778-6500) before coming to post a bond.