Jun 15, 2011 7:32 PM by Andy Koen

State computer crash stops birth and death certificates

A statewide computer system failure is still keeping the El Paso County Public Health Department from issuing birth and death certificates. Spokesperson Susan Wheelan says the Vital Records Office hopes to be back online sometime Thursday morning.

The outage happened at around 10:00 a.m. Wednesday when many state agencies lost their connection to the internet. The connection was restored a few hours later but the county's vital records office can still not access birth and death records.

Wheelan says the Women Infants and Children Office also lost its connection but was able to work around the problem and continued to provide benefits.

Dara Hessee, the state's information technology chief, said she was confident that the failure wasn't caused by a hacker.

The failure also prevented law enforcement from conducting on-the-spot background checks during traffic stops. However a state patrol spokesman said police departments were able to work around the severed connection by using police radios to request information from dispatch centers.

As for the Vital Records, Wheelan recommends checking the health department's Twitter feed at EPCPublicHealth for updates.

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