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Canine control: Miami Heat set to utilize sniffer dogs to screen audience for COVID-19

Miami Heat are planning to fill the empty stands of the American Airlines Arena this Thursday as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers and they have the most creative way to screen their fans for COVID-19, by implementing sniffer dogs.

Thanks to their strong sense of smell, estimated to be somewhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than humans, dogs have often been used by law enforcement and the military, as well as in the medical department where they have been used to detect diabetes, stress and even cancer. And now, they have a role in detecting the virus that has plagued global sports for more than a year.

However, its not the first time that Heat will have the canine squad present. In some of their previous games where they allowed only a small number of guest audiences, sniffer dogs were used to detect any presence of the virus.

ALSO READ: NBA has no plans to halt the season amid an alarming increase in cases

Miami Heat fans will undergo COVID screening by sniffer dogs before the Clippers faceoff

Now with the franchise inviting the ticket holders against Clippers, the dogs will be put to use once again, as confirmed by Matthew Jafarian, Miami Heat’s executive vice president for business strategy, who has full faith on man’s best friends.

“If you think about it, detection dogs are not new,” Jafarian stated, “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.”

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However, in case a fan is fearful of dogs, there will be an alternative way when that fan will be submitted to a rapid antigen test, which according to the franchise would take no more than 45 minutes.

The NBA has been steadfast in maintaining its COVID protocols for the ongoing seasons and the month of January has already seen a whopping 19 matches meeting with postponements due to positive cases or its indirect impact on the squads.

With six wins and nine losses so far this season, Miami Heat are down in the 13th position in the Eastern Conference and will travel to New York City to face Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center up next.


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