Shoppers walk into the main entrance at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach. (Photo by David Rosenfeld)

The South Bay Galleria will be the site of the first public drive-through coronavirus testing center in the South Bay, according to LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, April 1.

Hahn said plans are to open the testing center in Redondo Beach on Saturday, April 4 to those 65 and older. Patients must have COVID-19 symptoms and have a reservation. The site will be manned by Los Angeles County Fire Department, with assistance from Redondo Beach Fire and Police departments and a partnership with Beach Cities Health District, Hahn said.

The South Bay Galleria is one of 10 drive-through sites planned throughout LA county, said Hahn. L.A. County medical officials announced Tuesday, March 31 that public testing would be popping up this week from Lancaster to Redondo Beach to Pomona, with hopes of bringing more widespread COVID-19 testing to the region.

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms associated with the respiratory disease, which appear two-to-14 days after exposure, include fever, a cough and shortness of breath. 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.

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The drive-through testing, according to Hahn's spokesperson via email on Thursday, April 2, will be done via either nasal swabbing or mouth swabbing. The nasal swabs will be performed by medical personnel while the mouth swabs will be self-administered said the spokeswoman.

Details about the process for reserving a test through a website are being finalized in the next day or two, Hahn's spokeswoman said

The Galleria center is the first drive-through public coronavirus testing center to open in the South Bay, though there is a private drive-up center operating on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The South Bay Galleria is located at 1815 Hawthorne Blvd. in Redondo Beach.

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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