In Florida, fans are looking forward to watching their favourite NBA team play in person. Without a doubt, it is a small step towards a ‘return to normal’ amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The sport’s arena will be opened to limit capacity. They plan on only letting in 10 percent which is about 2,000 fans in an effort to control the spread of the virus. However, there is going to be another key difference when fans arrive at the American Airlines Arena. They must pass by COVID-19 detection dogs who are being used to sniff out the virus. If the detection dog alerts to the virus then the fan will be denied entrance. In most cases, the detection dog is taught to alert to a positive sniff by sitting.
Dogs to Sniff Covid-19
Dogs being used to sniff COVID-19 is not a novel idea. In fact, Finland’s Helsinki-Vanatta airport has started to effectively use detection dogs to sniff passengers in an effort to determine if they are infected with the often-fatal virus. Canine detection dogs are an affordable and remarkably effective way to test people for the high communicable virus. The dogs can accurately detect the virus with an almost 100 percent accuracy up to five days before symptoms appear. At this time, there are six dogs working at the airport.
Virus Detection Dog Process at Airport
A COVID-19 detection dog can effectively detect the presence of the virus within 10 seconds or less of sniffing. The passenger is asked to take a simple skin swipe and then place it in a container. The dog is then asked to sniff the sample. If the dog alerts to the presence of the virus then the passenger is asked to go directly to the Helsinki University Hospital station.
The detection dogs have been specially trained to smell coronavirus in the saliva, urine, and sweat of infected individuals. The United Arab Emirates also launched their own dog detection program at the Dubai International Airport. Airports in Germany, France and Australia also plan on launching their own detection Covid-19 dog teams at airports.
To Sniff or Not to Sniff
Miami heat fans can opt out of having the COVID-19 dogs sniff test but they will then be required to take an onsite test which will take up to 45 minutes to provide results. All attendees must go through on-site testing prior to the game even if they have recently received the coronavirus vaccine. Once in the stadium, all fans over the age of two will be required to wear a mask at all times and socially distance.
Matthew Jafarian, the executive vice president of business strategy with Miami heat told reports with The Hill, “If you think about it, detection dogs are not new. 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.”