Documenting COVID-19

San Diego County Medical Examiner COVID-19 deaths

Date Updated: September 21, 2020

Date Added: September 14, 2020

San Diego, CA

This material includes the San Diego County Medical Examiner office response to a Public Records Act request for case records dating November 1, 2019, to May 12, 2020. Information sought in the request, filed by Matt Kiefer, include details such as: date of death, race, ethnicity, age, gender, location (zip code); cause(s) of death (indicating if COVID related); any other non-exempt information contained in case records.


As of May 12, 2020, the San Diego County Medical Examiner had only one record of a death attributed to COVID-19. A communications officer offered the following explanation: "The Medical Examiner is charged with determining an individual's cause and manner of death. The overwhelming majority of COVID-19 related deaths in the region have occurred in individuals with comorbidities who are under the care of a physician. The physician is able to sign the death certificate, therefore a ME investigation is not needed because their cause and manner of death is known."

Principal Subject:
Glenn Wagner, San Diego County Medical Examiner

Date Range:
November 1, 2019, to May 12, 2020


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Documenting Covid-19