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Newport was rocked when an outbreak was announced on June 7th, then again on June 22nd, when Lincoln County had its first COVID-19 death. Brian Norris, manager of Bateman Funeral Home, says that “I cannot imagine the heartbreak that these families have experienced. On behalf of Bateman Funeral Home, I extend my sincerest condolences to everyone who is grieving the loss of their loved one to COVID-19.” Bateman Funeral Home has been working closely with the Lincoln County Medical Examiner, the Lincoln County Health Department and Lincoln County Emergency Operations Center, during this time to ensure they are taking all of the steps they can to protect their families and employees.
At this time, Bateman is open by appointment only for both pre-planning and funeral arrangements. Everyone who comes to the funeral home will use the outside phone and a staff member will come to open the door, which is locked at all times. When families visit the funeral home, there will be a sign-in form and a sanitation station with face coverings and hand sanitizer. The arrangement room is cleaned before each appointment to ensure everyone’s safety.
During this extremely trying time, Brian Norris mentioned that “It is difficult to see families not be able to fully grieve. It is hard that these families are not able to participate in traditional funerals rituals and have the celebration of life that they hoped for.”
To help the families who have lost a loved one at this time, Bateman Funeral Home offers online guestbooks 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. If a family chooses to have a funeral during this time, it is limited to 25 people attending in person observing physical distancing. Bateman offers funerals streamed online so that attendees can participate from their own home, but still be a part of the healing process that a funeral brings.
For loved ones that cannot attend the funeral in person, there are many ways that they can show their support for the bereaved and heal. Bateman offers an online obituary on their website if the family approves this, where loved ones can post pictures, comments, videos and share memories. On the obituary, there is an option to send a sympathy gift, donate to a chosen charity in the name of the person who passed, or plant a memorial tree in their name. Above all, family and friends can support each other during this time and check in with loved ones struggling.
For families that have experienced a COVID-19 death, Bateman Funeral Home is allowing limited outdoor viewings. If a family member is COVID-19 positive, Bateman Funeral Home is asking that the family member follow the Oregon Health Authority’s request of self quarantine and attend a funeral online. For COVID-19 positive individuals who need to make funeral arrangements, those can be made over the phone, by fax, email or over a Zoom call. At this time, transportation of a body outside of the United States is not allowed, however shipping of cremated remains is allowed.
If anyone has questions, they can always call the funeral home at 541-265-2751, or watch Straight Talk on Facebook or YouTube. Bateman will be regularly updating the community as this progresses.