Students and employees of the Fulton County School System have been asked to get a COVID-19 test before returning to classes after the Thanksgiving holiday. Two free testing sites — including one in Sandy Springs — will be available Nov. 29.

FCS will switch entirely to universal remote learning on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to allow time for test results to be delivered, Superintendent Mike Looney told the Fulton Board of Education on Nov. 19. Looney said in the meeting that the school district cannot require testing for all students and employees, but was making the request.

An illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that depicts a coronavirus. (Special)

FCS formed a partnership with CORE to open two additional testing sites on Sunday, Nov. 29 at the North Learning Center at 450 Northridge Parkway in Sandy Springs and the South Learning Center at 4025 Flat Shoals Road, Union City. The two test sites will be open for any student, family member or employee who wants to be tested for free.

“The vast majority of those test results will be delivered by 48 hours after those tests,” Looney said.

Students and FCS employees are directed to stay home until they have received test results that show they did not have COVID-19. If their test results don’t come back by the end of day Dec. 1, they should stay at home until they do arrive, Looney said.

Testing should be scheduled in advance to speed the process, he said. Register online at or call 404-613-8150 on weekdays from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays or 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Students, family members and employees can get COVID-19 testing at any of the other free sites offered by CORE in partnership with the Fulton County Board of Health or private testing sites such as  pharmacies and medical clinics, he said. CORE will operate a free site in Alpharetta at 4700 North Point Parkway on Nov. 23-25, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated students and staff would be required to be tested rather than asked.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.