Changes at Anderson's

Like many businesses, Anderson’s Tribute Center in The Dalles’ front office is closed to casual entry to avoid having too many people enter at one time. As a mortuary, they have also worked with state health authorities to institute a response plan guidelines to keep their staff safe—and their services available—during the pandemic.

Anderson’s Tribute Center has had to adjust its services in the light of COVID-19.

“We as a funeral home are an essential service; however, we and the families we serve in Hood River and The Dalles are greatly affected by COVID-19 precautions and limitations in hopes to mitigate the spread,” said Anderson’s owner Jack Trumbull.

The funeral home is open, but its doors are locked to ensure it does not exceed the mandated limit of 10 people inside at one time. Executive Order 20-12 went into effect March 23.

“The State of Oregon, federal government and Center for Disease Control is not allowing gatherings of more than 10 people,” reads the sign now posted on the door of both the Hood River and The Dalles locations. “We as a community, society and funeral home have never had to deal with a pandemic of this nature and with governing agencies limiting what a family can do, we know this complicates your grief, but understand that this is for your health and the health of our community.”

When funerals have been possible, Anderson’s staff has live streamed the event through its Facebook page, and the website shares photos, videos and life stories; visitors are able to sign a virtual guest book for families. Copies of the services will be available later for those who are unable to watch live.

“I would love to remind our community that, while our friends are not having a formal service at this time, they have a responsibility to reach out and let them know you care — call them, email them or post a message on Facebook or our website,” he said.

Trumbull said that between meetings and limited services the entire facility is disinfected and cleaned for safety.

Anderson’s Tribute Center, Hood River, can be reached at 541-386-1000; Anderson’s Tribute Center Celilo Chapel, The Dalles, is at 541-296-2600.

Pandemic plan details

Specific plans have been made for the transfer of a person deceased due to COVID-19.

1. Each of transfer vehicle is outfitted with PPE (personal protective equipment) gowns, masks, eye protection and tyvek suits—staff is well trained in “universal precautions” and are prepared to take the necessary extra precautions suggested by the CDC and NFDA.

“We, like everyone one in health care, do not have an endless supply of these masks, gowns and tyvek suits but know that if we do run low on supplies there may be some available for us there,” said Trumbull.

2. Transfer technicians are versed in CDC and NFDA strategies.

3. Between the two Anderson locations, they have the ability to handle fatalities.

“If you factor the mortality rate and separate this aggregate number to our base population, Anderson’s can manage,” he said.

They have also sought to make sure death records are promptly completed to enable efficiently and effectively as they work through the pandemic.

“While we will take extra precautions with known COVID-19 deaths, we will also continue to practice universal precautions on every death,” Trumbull added.

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