CHESTERFIELD, Mo. ( -- Mercy Hospital collected 52 samples from people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms on Saturday.

The test collection site is exclusively for patients who have a fever of at least 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms including cough or shortness of breath.

[More information: Mercy opens drive-thru coronavirus testing site]

The test results should be back in a day or two, Mercy says.

News 4 was there as the first cars rolled into the parking lot at the Mercy Virtual Care Center in Chesterfield.

Mercy employee Cathy Renth was decked out in her rain gear from head-to-toe and wearing her personal protective gear.

She's the first person patients meet when they pull onto the parking lot.

"Once they come into the testing center I greet them," Renth said, "I go over some discharge instructions, let them know it's going to take four or five days to get their test results back. We ask them to self isolate until they hear back from someone about their test results."

Before the site opened at 8 a.m., about half a dozen cars were lined up waiting to get in and start testing.

St. Louis now joins cities around the country that are using drive-thru testing sites. The patient doesn't have to go to a hospital or a doctor's office and risk spreading the virus.

The test is just a quick nasal or throat swab and then the patient is on their way in about five minutes.

Those who wish to be tested are asked to call Mercy's COVID-19 Clinical Support Line at 314-251-0500.

The drive-thru site will be operating starting at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day until further notice.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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