COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) is a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans. It was first detected in Wuhan, China.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome–associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

Effective immediately, per direction from the World Health Organization (WHO), when there is documentation of a confirmed case of COVID-19, assign U07.1 Emergency use of U07.1.

Synonyms for COVID-2019 include

  • 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease
  • 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease
  • 2019-nCoV

Note: Do not assign U07.1 when COVID-19 is only suspected.

Per clinical documentation, use additional code(s) to identify any specific manifestations.

Diagnosis typing and main problem/other problem assignment depends on the clinical documentation and circumstances surrounding the episode of care. In most situations, U07.1 should be assigned as the most responsible diagnosis (MRDx) in the Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) and as the main problem (MP) in the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS).

In February 2020, coding questions #75153: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and #75154: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) were posted in eQuery, and contain the same information as in this bulletin. If you need assistance with coding a specific case, submit your question along with the supporting clinical documentation via eQuery.

The codes found in the block U00–U49 of Chapter XXIII are reserved for provisional and emergency use and are used only at the direction of WHO.

For further clinical information, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada or WHO websites.

Explore CIHI’s COVID-19 resources web page, with key reports and resources on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.