Jan 28, 2021 - Health

Miami Heat to screen fans with coronavirus-sniffing dogs

A Dog.
A Malinois dog being trained to sniff out COVID-19. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

The Heat will use coronavirus-sniffing dogs to screen fans ahead of tonight's game at AmericanAirlines Arena, when ~1,500 season ticket holders will be permitted inside for the first time this season.

Why it matters: The Heat are the first NBA team to try this approach, which has been used at airports in Chile, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.

By the numbers: A German study last year found that trained dogs were able to sniff out COVID-19 with 94% accuracy.

Details: "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," per AP.

  • If guests are allergic or uncomfortable around dogs, they can submit a rapid antigen test instead, which can be processed in less than 45 minutes.
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