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WHO COVID-19 coding UPDATE: March 25, 2020.

With the recent changes to allow the counting of COVID-19 cases based upon clinical criteria with the shortage of tests, WHO has added the U07 Codes that now include the following cases;

  • Clinically-epidemiologically diagnosed COVID-19
  • Probable COVID-19
  • Suspected COVID-19

U07.1 COVID-19, virus identified (Use this code when COVID-19 has been confirmed by laboratory testing irrespective of severity of clinical signs or symptoms.) Use additional code, if desired, to identify pneumonia or other manifestations.  Excl: coronavirus infection, unspecified site (B34.2), Coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified to other chapters (B97.2) and Severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS], unspecified (U04.9)
U07.2 COVID-19, virus NOT identified (Use this code when COVID-19 is diagnosed clinically or epidemiologically but laboratory testing is inconclusive or not available.   

  • COVID-19 NOS
    Use additional code, if desired, to identify pneumonia or other manifestations.


WHO Notes: Codes U00-U49 are to be used by WHO for the provisional assignment of new diseases of uncertain etiology. In emergency situations codes are not always accessible in electronic systems. The specification of category U07 in the way it is done here will make sure this category and the subcategories are available in every electronic system at any time and that they can be used upon instruction by WHO, immediately.


Original Blog:

The ICD-10-CM codes provided below are intended to provide information on the coding of encounters related to coronavirus. Other codes for conditions unrelated to coronavirus may be required to fully code these scenarios in accordance with the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting.

The confirmed COVID-19 infections can cause a range of illness, from little to no symptoms, being severely ill and even dying. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath and usually appear from 2 to 14 days after exposure

General Guidance

Signs and symptoms - for patients presenting with any signs/symptoms (such as fever, etc.) and where a definitive diagnosis has not been established, assign the appropriate code(s) for each of the presenting sign and symptoms such as; R05 – Cough, R06.02 – Shortness of Breath, R50.9 – Fever, unspecified                                                                             

Notes: Coronavirus infection, unspecified - code B34.2, would generally NOT be appropriate for the COVID-19, because the cases have universally been respiratory, so the site would not be “unspecified.”

If the provider documents “suspected,” “possible,” “probable,” COVID-19, do NOT assign code B97.29.

For the complete ICD-10-CM Official Coding Guidelines - Supplement Coding encounters related to COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak Effective: February 20, 2020 It is intended to be used in conjunction with the current ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting (effective October 1, 2019) and will be updated to reflect new clinical information as it becomes available.

 Additional Resources:

  • Johns Hopkins University has created aninteractive web-based dashboard to visualize and track reported cases of the coronavirus in real time.
  • The Regenstrief Institute is creating a series ofLOINC codes to identify the lab tests used to screen patients for the virus. The team also created codes during the Zika and SARS outbreaks.
  • Bulletinfrom the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights regarding HIPAA compliance during the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • COVID-10 clinical presentation:
  • CDC updates:
  • AHIMA article and resources: