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Heat will use coronavirus-detecting dogs as they welcome fans back

Dogs will sniff Miami Heat fans for COVID-19 before games
Dogs will sniff Miami Heat fans for COVID-19 before games

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 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.

About the Authors:

Will Manso came back home to South Florida when he joined Local 10 in March of 1999. During his time here, Will has kept busy by working in sports, news and he's even dabbled in entertainment. He is now Local 10's sports director and also enjoys the chance to serve as host for special shows on Local 10.

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.