Funeral homes adapting to COVID-19 restrictions


NEWPORT — There has been evidence of funerals going back to 60,000 B.C., with the Neanderthals placing items at the site of a grave. However, with the changes that COVID-19 has brought, many families are now having to decide whether to postpone services until later or hold their funeral online.

This adjustment has been hard on families, funeral homes and their employees. With all of the changes brought, many have been asking whether funerals are allowed at this time and what they can do to honor their loved one who has passed, as well as respect the guidelines sent out by authorities.

Bateman Funeral Home in Newport has been expanding its options on types of funerals offered to families to help them through the grieving process. Over the last month, the funeral home has begun offering virtual funeral services, limited in-person funerals and has changed procedures for their staff in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

They have implemented procedures recommended by the CDC, Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board, Lincoln County Medical Examiner and Lincoln County Health Department to make sure all of the families they serve and their employees remain safe. Some of these include arrangements made over the phone and by email, restricting funerals to a maximum of 10 people and meeting by appointment only.

During this difficult time, Brian Norris, a managing partner at Bateman Funeral Home, said, “It runs so against our nature to tell people that we can’t hug, we have to stand apart, and we need to limit the number of people coming in.”

To help the families who have lost a loved one at this time, Bateman Funeral Home offers online guest books for family and friends to leave sympathy notes, as well as a tribute wall on each loved one’s obituary page to share photos and videos. They have begun setting up funerals to be streamed online, so that attendees can participate from their own home, but still be a part of the healing process that a funeral brings.

Common questionson funeral services during COVID-19:

• What safety procedures have you put in place?

We are using PPE and have implemented procedures to clean the arrangement room before and after appointments. We have limited the rooms being used to a single arrangement room and bathroom.

• What types of funerals is Bateman holding? Graveside or funeral services limited to 10 people following social distancing; memorials will held at a later time; livestreamed funeral services; recorded funeral services.

• Can I still make a pre-arrangement? Yes, we can set up an appointment to meet in person, over the phone, through email or by fax.

• How does this affect military honors? Military honors cannot be performed at this time. National cemeteries are only allowing for burials and interments at this time.

• How can I show my support to a family who has lost a loved one? Check in with them to see how they are doing; send cards or post condolences on the obituary page; send a donation to their chosen charity; plant a memorial tree in their name; send a sympathy gift.

• How can I get more information? Call 541-265-2751, or watch Bateman’s video series, “Straight Talk,” on Facebook (Bateman Funeral Home) or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/channel/UCBI4fR8DkPGu_0Xbphz8VYA.

Bateman Funeral Home will be regularly providing updates to this information.

— Information provided by Bateman Funeral Home

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