Introduction A new respiratory virus, SARS-CoV-2, has emerged and spread worldwide since late 2019. This study aims at analysing clinical presentation on admission and the determinants associated with admission in intensive care units (ICUs) in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients and methods In this prospective hospital-based study, socio-demographic, clinical and biological characteristics, on admission, of adult COVID-19 hospitalized patients presenting from the community for their first admission were prospectively collected and analysed. Characteristics of patients hospitalized in medical ward to those admitted in ICU were compared using Mann-Whitney and Chi-square or Fisher exact test when appropriate. Univariate logistic regression was first used to identify variables on admission that were associated with the outcome i.e. admission to an ICU versus total hospital stay in a medical ward. Forward selection was then applied beginning with sex, age and temperature in the multivariable logistic regression model. Results Of the 412 patients included, 325 were discharged and 87 died in hospital. Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of ICU hospitalization with temperature (OR, 1.56 [95% CI, 1.06-2.28] per degree Celsius increase), oxygen saturation 100mg/L vs CRP Conclusions Age and delay between onset of symptoms and hospital admission were associated with the risk of hospitalisation in ICU. Age being a fixed variable, interventions that shorten this delay would improve the prognosis of Covid-19 patients.