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CDC Updates Criteria for Evaluation of COVID-19, Provides ICD-10 Coding Guidance

Feb 28, 2020

The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for clinical evaluation of persons under investigation for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The guidance is intended to assist health departments and clinicians when determining whether a patient should be tested for COVID-19. The guidelines were expanded to now include a person with a fever and severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS) requiring hospitalization for whom there is not an alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza), even when no source of exposure has been identified. All criteria and other related information can be found here.

New ICD-10-CM Code for COVID-19

Consistent with updates by the World Health Organization, the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics will implement a new diagnosis code for corona virus disease 2019 in the International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) for reporting, effective with the next update, October 1, 2020. Full addenda information regarding the new code and the final title will be presented at the March 2020 ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting. ICD-10-CM interim coding guidance can be found here.

Webinar Recording Available

On February 24, the NHTSA Office of EMS presented a special installment of EMS Focus, hosted by the office's director, Dr. Jon Krohmer, with speakers from the CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. They discussed what we know about the COVID-19 virus and illness so far, what actions are being taken at the Federal level to support EMS and 911, and how local EMS and 911 systems can prepare in their communities are impacted. Watch the webinar now.

EMS COVID-19 Resources

Other resources to help EMS systems prepare for the possible spread of COVID-19, influenza or other infectious diseases can be found in the preparedness section of On that page, you'll find links to relevant CDC pages on coronavirus disease 2019 as well as other critical resources, such as the EMS Infectious Disease Playbook and the EMS Pandemic Influenza Guidelines for Statewide Adoption.