Objectives: Universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; i.e., the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening before admission has been adopted by several hospitals to prevent nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients. However, screening usefulness remains unclear because it depends on the regional COVID-19 prevalence, and only a few large-scale studies have been reported. Here we describe the universal PCR screening performed in our hospital before admission of more than 12,000 patients and their attendants to evaluate the usefulness of the screening. Methods: We retrospectively described the universal PCR screening results for asymptomatic patients and their attendants before planned admissions at a hospital in Tokyo, Japan, from August 3, 2020, through March 31, 2021. Nasopharyngeal swab samples were collected at an in-hospital PCR center. Results: In total, 12,133 persons (11,859 asymptomatic patients and 274 attendants) underwent PCR screening; nine (0.07%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Conclusions: Universal PCR screening may be useful for the advanced detection of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients with or without symptoms, which can be a potential source of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
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