Due to Governor Jay Inslee’s recent COVID-19 restrictions, the Whatcom Museum campus is closed Nov. 16 through Dec. 15, 2020, or until further notice.

The Museum Store inside the Lightcatcher building will remain open at 25% Wednesdays through Sundays, noon – 4pm.

The Lightcatcher galleries, Family Interactive Gallery (FIG), Old City Hall, and Photo Archives will all remain closed during this time.

As a public gathering space, the health and safety of our community is our priority. Please visit this page regularly for updates on reopening, program cancelations, and more.

Thank you for your support and understanding during this time. We look forward to seeing you at the Museum in the future!

For what to expect once our doors reopen, watch our Welcome Back video below.

Preparing to Safely Reopen

We want to ensure you have an enjoyable, educational experience in the safest way possible. Here’s what you can expect when you visit our buildings. Guidelines are subject to change.

  • All Museum staff are required to wear face coverings in visitor areas.
  • Visitors age 2+ are required to wear a face covering per the governor’s guidelines for museum operations, which will be enforced. For a list of exemptions, click here. The Museum will provide a disposable mask for those who need one. Reusable cloth masks are available for purchase at the Museum Store.
  • Sneeze guards have been installed at admission and check-in areas.
  • Admissions, store purchases, and other transactions will have limited contact.
  • Visitors checking in must wait in line six (6) feet apart from those not in their group until Admissions staff calls them forward.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations are available throughout the museum.
  • Visitors must stay at least six (6) feet apart from those not in their group.
  • Increased signage has been posted for directional flow and distancing.
  • Reduced number of visitors allowed inside galleries.
  • One family group allowed in the Museum Store at a time, with one-way directional flow.
  • EPA-approved, non-toxic Force of Nature™ electrolysis cleaner is being used to disinfect hands-on interactives.
  • CDC-approved self-cleaning NanoSeptic® skins have been applied to high-touch surfaces such as door handles, elevator/interactive buttons, and touch screens.
  • Restrooms will have waiting areas and/or directional flow signage to promote social distancing.
  • Lockers will not be available. Coat areas will have two-way directional flow signage.
  • Fresh air will be circulated frequently throughout buildings daily.
  • Increased intervals of sanitation with deep cleaning performed after closing.
  • If you feel sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, live with or care for someone who has been sick, or have traveled/live with someone who has traveled in the last 14 days, please visit us at another time.

The Whatcom Museum has successfully met or exceeded the standards set by SanSee Safety Systems for excellence in operational safety and hygiene. Read the SanSee news release here. For more information about our Covid-19 protocols, please contact our general info line at 360.778.8930 or email info@whatcommuseum.org.

Museum From Home 

This fall, the Museum is offering virtual programming and activities in place of in-person offerings. Visit our web calendar for a list of virtual programs and events.

Note: Docent-led gallery tours, Old City Hall History Tours, FIG birthday parties, all school tours, FIG activities, and private event rentals have been canceled until further notice. The Photo Archive is accepting email inquiries. 

Experience some of the Museum from home:

Tips for reducing the spread of the virus

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20+ seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wear a mask when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible.
  • Stay away from other people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home to prevent spreading the infection to others. (Employees who are feeling ill are required to stay home).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Washington State Department of Health for more recommendations.

COVID-19 Disclaimer

While the Whatcom Museum has implemented rigorous protocols to maintain a clean and safe environment, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is a very contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and visitors with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting the Whatcom Museum you, and all members of your group, voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.