MIAMI – The Miami Heat’s COVID-19 protection plan is going to the dogs.
The team plans to use dogs trained to sniff out the virus to scan fans before they are allowed to enter AmericanAirlines Arena for upcoming home games.
The Heat are allowing fans into the arena for the first time this season starting Jan. 28. The crowd will be limited to about 1,500 season-ticket holders.
The Heat plan for fans returning to home games includes Covid detecting dogs used to check fans as they arrive. Starts next Thursday with 1,500 season ticket holders at game. Plan is to keep ramping up number of fans in phases. More info: https://t.co/khuC0Ojyyj pic.twitter.com/wxBTd3GVIp— Will Manso (@WillManso) January 21, 2021
The team says: “If you or anyone in your travel party is signaled by a canine, all members of the party will not be permitted to enter the arena. A staff member will notify you of the next steps regarding your ticket purchase.”
Skeptical if dogs can actually detect COVID-19? Studies have indicated that they can be trained to sniff it through human sweat.
The Heat say that if fans are not comfortable being scanned by the dogs they can undergo another testing method before entering, but that could take about 45 minutes.
Fans who sit within 30 feet of the court will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test on-site before the game.
Fans must also wear a face mask at all times while in the arena, except when eating or drinking in designated areas.
More details about the dogs, masks and other safety measures are posted on the team website.