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Arizona switch to deaths database creates backup of bodies

Posted at 2:57 PM, Oct 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-15 20:15:23-04

Funeral directors, physicians, and government officials are struggling to implement Arizona's new online system to register deaths and generate death certificates.

That has created a backlog of bodies at funeral homes that prompted one health official to warn that the county could be forced to use refrigerated-truck storage.

The Arizona Republic reports that some funeral directors have had to delay burying and cremating the deceased because of confusion and technical problems since the state Department of Health Services' new database went live Oct. 2.

It replaced a fax-based system.

The department acknowledges there have been some problems and delays.

It has temporarily allowed the counties that include Phoenix and Tucson and a third county, Cochise, to use paper records to obtain processing permits for burials and cremations.