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Dogs to visit 3 school districts to sniff out COVID-19

January 5, 2022 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Two dogs trained to detect an odor distinct to people who are sick with COVID-19 will visit three school districts in Bristol County this week.

A black Labrador named Huntah and a golden Lab called Duke can detect the smell of the virus on surfaces and will sit to indicate when they pick up the scent.

The dogs will visit schools in the Freetown, Lakeville and Norton school districts, WBZ-TV reported Tuesday.

“With COVID, whether it’s the omicron, whether it’s the delta, our dogs will hit on it,” said Bristol County Capt. Paul Douglas. “And if there’s a new variant that comes out in six months, hopefully there isn’t, but if there is one, COVID is COVID.”

Fairhaven School Superintendent Tara Kohler welcomed the dogs saying their presence shows students, “we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk and I want them to feel secure and safe and not anxious about their surroundings.”

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The dogs were trained using a detection program developed by Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute. WBZ-TV first reported on the Bristol County’s use of the detection dogs in July.