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MORRISON –áThe Whiteside County Sheriff's Department and jail will not allow visitors until further notice because of coronavirus concerns.
"We recognize the importance of visitation as an essential component of rehabilitation, family connection and quality of life for those in our care," Sheriff John Booker said in a release.
"Our top priority is the health and safety of those who live and work in our facility, and we are hopeful this policy change will be short-lived."
Attorneys are still permitted, but will be screened upon arrival.
Booker encourages families of inmates to write letters as often as possible.
Meanwhile, at Thomson and all other federal prison nationwide, visits from family, friends or attorneys will not be allowed for at least 30 days.
Starting Wednesday, the old Lee County Courthouse will be closed to the public until further notice.
Essential business will be conducted by a limited staff, and an emphasis is being put on doing business electronically, telephonically or by mail, thus conforming to the social distancing recommendation by Lee County Health Department Administrator Cathy Ferguson-Allen.
Signage will be posted at the main entrance and online with contact information for the different county departments.