By LISA JACOBS | | Daily Breeze
PUBLISHED: April 1, 2020 at 6:04 p.m. | UPDATED: April 2, 2020 at 2:11 p.m.

A medical group based in Rolling Hills Estates has begun offering what it says is the first drive-up coronavirus test center in the South Bay.

Palos Verdes Medical Group is conducting the tests at the top of the parking structure at the Promenade at the Peninsula shopping center, according to a Wednesday, April 1, statement from Dr. Lawrence Sher, who is with the medical group.

To be eligible for the test, you first must be screened in a telephone interview, Sher said.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 — such as fever, cough or shortness of breath — or may have been exposed, call the medical group’s office, 310-544-6858, to schedule what it calls a “telehealth visit.”

The symptoms for respiratory disease COVID-19 can appear two-to-14 days after exposure. While most people — including healthy young adults — will experience mild symptoms, the disease can be severe and possibly fatal for at-risk groups, such as the elderly and those with other health problems.

If testing is recommended, patients will be sent to the drive-up testing center at the mall.

The medical group has nearly 50 test kits coming each day, Sher said, which is more than the typical three kits a private practitioner might receive.

Testing is open to both medical group patients and the community at large, Sher said, adding that people without insurance, cash patients or those with Kaiser or out-of-network insurance will be charged a nominal fee for the telephone service and testing.

Pre-screened patients will remain in their vehicles during the test. After showing identification, a clinician will come to the car to collect a sample from that person’s nose to test for COVID-19. Sher said he expects test results within two-to-three days.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed tremendous strain on our community,” Sher wrote in the statement. “Testing will help us determine the number of people positive with COVID-19 within our community, how to best contain it and may help to stop its spread.”