Reporting and Coding Deaths Due to COVID-19
This page provides guidance and resources for reporting deaths due to COVID-19 on death certificates. When COVID-19 is determined to be a cause of death, it is important that it be reported on the death certificate to accurately assess the effects of this pandemic and appropriately direct public health response.
This page also provides basic information on the new International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD–10) code for COVID-19.
Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)
- If COVID-19 is determined to be a cause of death, it should be reported on the death certificate.
- When reporting COVID-19 as a cause of death, use standard WHO terminology, such as “Coronavirus Disease 2019” or “COVID-19.”
- Report pre-existing conditions that contributed to the death in Part II of the death certificate.
Death certificates provide crucial data on causes of death and are used to document deaths resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This short video provides some guidance and an example of how to certify a death due to COVID-19.
This COCA Call provides an overview of the importance of mortality data, discusses NCHS guidance for clinicians who may need to certify a death involving COVID-19, and presents a summary of COVID-19 surveillance through the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS).
Causes of death are coded according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD–10). On January 31, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) established a new emergency code for COVID-19: U07.1.
WHO | Emergency use ICD codes for COVID-19 disease outbreakexternal icon
U07.1 – COVID-19
Excludes: Coronavirus infection, unspecified site (B34.2) and Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), unspecified (U04.9)
The WHO has provided a second code, U07.2, for clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID-19 where a laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available. Because laboratory test results are not typically reported on death certificates in the United States, NCHS did not implement U07.2 for mortality statistics.
- COVID-19 testing guidance:
- Guidance for filling out death certificates (general):