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Death certificate data are used to monitor local, regional, and national mortality trends to improve public health and public safety. Accurate death certification related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is vital to understand the extent and progression of the pandemic. Death certificate data can inform the public and policy makers on the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide important information about who is dying, where they are from, and what were their associated medical conditions. Public health mortality data are only as good as the quality of the death certificates, but proper death certification has been a long-standing challenge in the US.1- 3 The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted shortcomings that may compromise an accurate count of COVID-19 deaths.
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Corresponding Author: James R. Gill, MD, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Connecticut, 11 Shuttle Rd, Farmington, CT 06032 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: June 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.9536
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
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