Coroner and inquests

When a coronavirus (COVID-19) death should be reported to the coroner

A death known or suspected most likely to be from coronavirus (COVID-19) will generally not need to be reported to the coroner.

This is because the death is from a natural cause and the probable cause of death is known.

Doctors are encouraged to issue a cause of death certificate in these cases.

A coronavirus (COVID-19) death will only be reportable to the coroner if:

  • the death is a death in custody or a death in care or
  • the person died as a result of the care they received or did not receive, for example, a missed diagnosis or failure to treat coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, a coronavirus (COVID-19) death will not be reportable for failure to provide health care because of inadequate resourcing in the event of an overwhelming demand for critical care services provided clinical decision-making for the person is consistent with the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) COVID-19 Guidelines of 16 March 2020.

Read the guidelines on the ANZICS website.

More information

For general enquiries about reportable deaths, contact the Northern Territory Office of the Coroner during business hours on 08 8999 7770.


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Last updated: 23 March 2020

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