The Miami Heat will be able to let some basketball fans back into the arena—but only with the help of nineteen COVID-sniffing pooches.
"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."
Several countries have been training dogs to catch the scent of the virus. Although their detection accuracy is 94%, the Heat staff are implementing other prevention strategies, such as mask-wearing, temperature checks, cashless transactions, isolated seating patterns, and reduced food and beverage sales.
If fans are allergic to dogs or afraid of them, the Heat is offering rapid antigen tests that can produce results in 45 minutes.
Dogs have been trained to sniff out everything from depression to bombs; it only seems natural that the incredible animals would be able to recognize the scent of COVID-19 with proper training.
The Heat's first game will be at home against the LA Clippers. On Monday, 2,000 ticket-holders will be able to enter the arena, which will remain at less than 10% capacity.