Reporting Guidelines for COVID-19

The reporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths is a critical component of our local public health response to this pandemic and is required by law. The information reported contributes to our COVID-19 surveillance, which helps drive our actions and our response. Not only do we depend on accurate reporting to provide recommendations for our community, our community members rely on all of us to keep them up to date and informed. We appreciate your cooperation in these efforts.


Reporting Summary

  • All laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-associated deaths must be reported by healthcare providers.


Provider Reporting


Healthcare providers must report all laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19* (including cases with positive antigen results) and all deaths caused by or related to COVID-19 according to the standard reporting process: Disease Reporting Requirements for Health Care Providers

All laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases* must be reported by healthcare providers within one day.

Complete all sections of the COVID-19 Confidential Morbidity Report Form and submit to the County of San Diego Epidemiology Unit by fax to (858) 715-6458.

*At this time, positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody results in patients should NOT be reported by healthcare providers.



COVID-19 associated deaths must be reported by healthcare providers immediately by fax to (858) 715-6458.

Note: If COVID-19 played a role in a patient’s death, it is important to report it accurately on the death certificate per CDPH and CDC Guidance.



Report cases that meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)  within 1 working day to the County of San Diego Epidemiology Unit by fax to (858) 715-6458.

See the CDC MIS-C web page for more information about MIS-C.


Laboratory Reporting

All novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) results, both positive and negative, must be reported electronically within one working day. Molecular, antigen, and serologic tests are all reportable, including point of care (POC) tests. 

Mandated Reporting of SARS-COV-2: Letter to Community Clinics, Hospitals, Laboratories, and Pharmacies (11/9/20)

Laboratories should report only the results from serologic tests that have an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Laboratories that test San Diego County residents (regardless of the physical location of the laboratory) must register with the California Department of Public health (CDPH) for electronic laboratory reporting (ELR). Information about how to establish an electronic connection with CDPH to route positive and negative COVID results to San Diego County can be found at the CDPH Health Information Exchange Gateway.

Until labs are set up with ELR, for each person tested, laboratories are required to do the following daily:

  • Fax positive lab result forms to (858) 715-6458.
  • Negative and indeterminate test results can be batched and emailed using encryption and password-protection to
  • The lab results must include key reporting data elements, which are outlined in the California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 2505, plus race/ethnicity.
    • Date the specimen was obtained
    • Patient identification number
    • Specimen accession number or other unique specimen identifier
    • Laboratory findings for the test performed
    • Date that any positive laboratory findings were identified
    • Name, gender, address, telephone number (if known), and date of birth of the patient
    • Name, address, and telephone number of the health care provider who ordered the test

See our Clinical Laboratory Reporting and Specimen Submission Guidelines web page for additional information on laboratory reporting in San Diego County. 


Residents of Other Health Jurisdictions 

Cases and deaths must be reported to the jurisdiction where the patient resides.

For contact information for other health jurisdictions in California, see the CDPH Local Health Department Communicable Disease Contact Information web page for Health Care Providers/Labs.