Background: Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, hospitals and patient care facilities have faced challenges in protecting healthcare workers and patients from being exposed to the infection. The main challenge has been how exposure to COVID-19 can be controlled when asymptomatic patientscan transmit the infection. This study aims to evaluate pre-admission testing of COVID-19 in patients at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi as a screening strategy for understanding, preventing and controlling exposure to COVID-19. Methods: This was a descriptive retrospective chart review study that analysed the incidence of COVID-19, incidental detection of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and effects on plan of care in patients prior to admission at the Aga Khan University Hospital from April to December 31, 2020. Demographic data, clinical characteristics, COVID-19 test report and plan of care were retrieved from patients medical records review. Results: A total of 8837 pre-admission tests were done between April 2020 and December 2020, with a COVID-19 prevalence rate of 10.9% (961/8837). Among the positive pre-admission tests, 14.3% were incidental positive results (138/961). Among the 138 incidental positive tests 21% (30) had their plan of care affected, 14.5%  had their care interventions delayed, 4.3%  had their hospital stay shortened, 1.4%  their hospital stay prolonged and 0.7%  had their care diagnostics delayed. Conclusion: While community spread of COVID-19 fluctuated during this period; depending on the level of compliance to infection control measures, pre-admission prevalence rates were increasing as the year progressed. Mandatory testing of COVID-19 in hospital facilities remains an important admission requirement in controlling asymptomatic transmission of the virus. COVID-19 health burden justifies resource allocation for universal screening of all patients before hospital admission.
- Incidental COVID-19