COVID detects dogs starting to operate in 3 Massachusetts school districts – CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) – COVID-sniffing police K-9s will be arriving at select Massachusetts schools this week. One-year-old laboratories with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office have been trained to detect COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Huntah and Duke will visit the Freetown, Lakeville and Norton school districts.
“With COVID, whether it’s Omicron, whether it’s Delta, our dogs will attack it,” said Captain Paul Douglas of Bristol County. “And if there’s a new variant coming out in six months, hopefully there isn’t, but if there is, COVID is COVID.”
If one of the dogs smells COVID on the desk, keyboard, or trash can, they sit down, alerting staff that the area has been exposed to the virus and needs cleaning.
“One good thing about COVID is that it is so easily destroyed,” says Douglas. “It doesn’t like chemicals. Spray it down, wipe it off and it will remove the virus.”
Fairhaven Superintendent Tara Kohler is delighted to have the dogs.
“I see this as a great opportunity for the kids to realize that we are doing everything we can to reduce the risk and that I want them to feel safe and secure and not worry about their surroundings,” says Kohler.
“We would go right into the classroom if the students were there, and our dogs would actually work right in there,” Douglas said. “They just walk through, they go through backpacks, around the teachers.”
The detection program was developed by Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute. Scientists there say the dogs are 99% accurate at detecting COVID.