By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Commissioners, school system team up to bring free COVID-19 testing to teachers, substitutes
Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

We know that you need accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus in our community. The Forsyth County News is making this article available free to non-subscribers as a public service. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing today. 

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is teaming up with Forsyth County Schools to give COVID-19 testing for FCS employees and active substitutes.  

At a regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 6, commissioners voted to approve an agreement between the BOC and Forsyth County Schools so that teachers and substitutes exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 can get tested in a timelier manner. The agreement was approved with a unanimous vote, 5-0.  

“As you know, with COVID-19 numbers spiking, it’s important for us and the schools to be able to be able to get rapid testing back within 24 hours,” said County Manager Kevin Tanner. “The long lines at testing sites has been difficult for our county and school system.” 

Because staffing will be limited and since testing is “hard to access,” family members, friends and students of teachers or subs will not be able to receive a test at through the agreement.  

According to a press release from Forsyth County Schools, teachers must bring an official photo ID badge and substitutes must bring a copy of a paycheck stub from 2021-22 or a substitute activity or athletic key tag.  

Patients that receive a test are not allowed to return to work until they receive results.  

During the meeting, District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent said he was concerned about the current “symptoms” of the COVID-19 omicron variant.  

He said he was concerned that “we still have people coming to work with symptoms” and that with a test, a positive COVID-19 result might not “show up right away.” 

Levent said that he wanted to remind people of the safety policies put in place that state symptomatic employees at the county office and the school system should not go to work and “spread it around to other … employees.” 

Tanner said that employees have been instructed not to come in to work if they are feeling unwell and said that the agreement between commissioners and the school system was not dealing with “internal policy,” but instead presenting an “opportunity for our risk management department to be able to handle testing in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.”  

The testing facility will be at the Hill Educational Center at 36 Almon C. Hill Drive in Cumming.  

The facility will be open from 8-11 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, Jan. 10.  

“We are extremely grateful for this partnership with the county government to benefit all of our employees that serve the residents of Forsyth County,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, director of communications for Forsyth County Schools. “By taking this pressure off of our local health care providers and testing sites, hopefully this will help residents in our community have access to quicker testing options.”