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Cook County clerk's office cites lack of special paper for delays in issuing vital records following Karen Yarbrough's death 

By Olivia Stevens

April 12 at 4:48 PM CT


The death of Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough has led to delays in issuing vital records including death certificates.


Newly issued death certificates for Cook County residents need to be updated with the signature of Chief Deputy Clerk Cedric Giles until an interim clerk is named, 


which may not happen for a week or two. Providing new certificates has been on hold because the clerk’s office is still waiting on the delivery of the special paper used for 

those documents, said clerk’s office spokesperson Sally Daly.  Daly said the paper comes from a single source and there’s no timeline yet on  when a new shipment will arrive, 


but that the office is “working very diligently to expedite the process.” “We made it clear that this was high priority, and we expect to receive the product very shortly,” Daly said in an


interview Friday. “This is not going to be an extended issue.” The delay in obtaining records could be especially troublesome for families who are seeking to collect life insurance and 


settle estates following a death, said Susan Dyer-Hultgren, president of the Cook County Funeral Association. “I would hate to see families go into two, three or four weeks 


(without paper certificates) because then you’re going to get a pile-on of the backlog and potentially take longer,” Dyer-Hultgren said in an interview Friday.


Dyer-Hultgren, a funeral director and owner at Hultgren Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Wheaton, said funeral directors in Cook County earlier this week were unable to finalize 

death certificates and receive permits for burials and cremations through the county clerk’s online portal. Daly said that issue has been resolved and families should not worry about


scheduling funerals or carrying out burials and cremations as planned. We continue to officially register death record information through our online portal,” Daly said. “It was a very 


brief interruption of that, but it was rectified very quickly, so that funeral homes can obtain the burial and cremation permits that they are looking for.” Dyer-Hultgren said death certificates 


are typically filed and available within a week of a person’s death. “We are still going to file that death certificate within seven days,” Dyer-Hultgren said. “And I’m encouraging 


funeral directors to, you know, remember that there’s still that requirement, and I would think that they’re just going to hold the records in their queue until this is rectified and then start 


producing the certified copies.”


Yarbrough, 73, died Sunday evening after being hospitalized with what was described only as a “serious medical condition.”

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