On March 1, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Orders 20-51 and 20-52 directing a Public Health Emergency and Statewide Response Protocol for the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19. Deaths relating to COVID-19 fall under Medical Examiner jurisdiction, in accordance with Florida Statute 406.11(1)(a)11:
“The Medical Examiner shall determine the cause of death when any person dies in the state by disease constituting a threat to public health.”
The District Twenty Medical Examiner’s Office is responsible for completing all death certificates for patients who die in Collier County due to confirmed positive COVID-19 infection. Please be assured that every reported death is carefully reviewed. As a result of emerging medical information from the pandemic, we have expanded criteria to optimize the capture of all COVID-19 deaths that occur in Collier County.
Operational, administrative and staff adjustments have been made to ensure that we are meeting all of our responsibilities, including those due to COVID-19. As essential personnel, the Medical Examiner’s Office has remained fully operational throughout the pandemic. Although we are experiencing a higher number of inquiries and calls as a result of COVID-19, we are addressing each of these as quickly as possible. Thank you for your cooperation.
We wish to express our gratitude for the service, dedication and courage of our EMS, all healthcare personnel, firefighters, police and the public and private agencies selflessly assisting their communities get through this very difficult time in our country. To the families that we are privileged to serve, we extend our deepest sympathies.
Marta U. Coburn, M.D. District Medical Examiner