Registering and Reporting COVID-19 Deaths
Registering COVID-19 Deaths
Timely and accurate reporting of deaths is important for public health and for families. MDH oversees the statewide system of vital records in accordance with the CDC’s National Vital Statistics System and National Center for Health Statistics standards and specifications. Data collected as part of death registration is consistent with the CDC’s U.S. Standard Death Certificate.
MDH relies on physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, medical examiners, and coroners to provide their best medical opinion when certifying deaths. MDH trusts that these medical professionals make cause of death determinations based on their knowledge of the decedent, access to the medical record, relevant facts, and resources they have at hand. An accurate count of the number of deaths due to COVID–19 infection, which depends in part on proper death certification, is critical ongoing public health surveillance and response.
More information about certifying death records is available on the MDH Death Registration Information for Medical Certifiers webpage.
For additional guidance and resources, visit CDC: Reporting and Coding Deaths Due to COVID-19.
Reporting and Investigating COVID-19 Deaths
Health care facilities and clinicians are asked to report deaths of confirmed COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 and deaths of patients where a SARS-CoV-2 test is pending. Reports can be made by calling 651-201-5414 and by completing the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 case report form. MDH is also working with skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and other congregate living facilities that provide patient care to coordinate testing of deaths that occur in facilities that have COVID-19 cases or in deaths that are not due to a known cause. In addition, MDH’s Unexplained Critical Illness and Deaths program is working with medical examiners and coroners to investigate deaths that may be due to COVID-19.
- Reporting COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 Infections
All cases of COVID-19 must be reported to MDH.
- Reporting an Unexplained Critical Illness or Death
Unexplained critical illnesses or deaths of possible infectious etiology are also reportable to MDH.