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Heat taps coronavirus-sniffing dogs dogs to screen fans

Miami HeatHere’s one unusual approach to COVID-19 mitigation: the Miami Heat (NBA) are employing coronavirus-sniffing dogs at AmericanAirlines Arena to screen fans entering the venue.

The Heat are welcoming a limited number of fans to the arena after starting the season sans fans. In addition to the usual COVID-mitigation methods, the Heat has been planning for months to employ the coronavirus-sniffing dogs, who will make their debut this Thursday. From AP:

“If you think about it, detection dogs are not new,” said Matthew Jafarian, the Heat’s executive vice president for business strategy. “You’ve seen them in airports, they’ve been used in mission critical situations by the police and the military. We’ve used them at the arena for years to detect explosives.”…

The coronavirus-sniffing dog idea has been put into place at airports in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Helsinki, Finland, in recent months. At Heat games, fans arriving for the game will be brought to a screening area and the detection dogs will walk past. If the dog keeps going, the fan is cleared; if the dog sits, that’s a sign it detects the virus and the fan will be denied entry….

Dogs have a superior sense of smell, which is why they’re often used by law enforcement to find everything from drugs to bombs to missing people.

And, of course, everyone loves dogs. Even coronavirus-sniffing dogs.

NBA teams are employing a series of mitigation measures as more teams welcome back fans. We’ll be highlighting them all week.

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