Miami Heat using COVID detection dogs as they welcome fans

MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami Heat fans will finally be able to watch games in person once again as the NBA released a list of safety measures put in place for upcoming games.

On Thursday, the team announced fans who want to watch a Heat game at the AmericanAirlines Arena can do so with new COVID-19 health and safety measures in place.

“We’re far from being in a place where you can pack an arena,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “To be able to start to invite people in and do it in the absolute safest way, I think it’s a step in the right direction. Then, we just have to continue to do everything with great vigilance.”

Up to 2,000 spectators will be allowed in to watch the Heat play the Los Angeles Clippers next Thursday. The new measures in place are to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

All guests will participate in a mandatory health screening questionnaire as they enter the arena, and they will also have to go through metal detectors and hand sanitizing stations.

They will also be checked by COVID-19 detection dogs upon arrival. The dogs are in use at the Helsinki, Finland airport, where officials said they have been successful. If the dog sits, the person is denied entry.

“The more we can explore anything for early detection and make it available to as many people as possible helps,” said Spoelstra. “I’d love to have my dog, little 9-pound dog, learn how to do that.”

“First and foremost, try to keep everybody safe, hoping everybody’s following the proper protocols,” Heat forward Andre Iguodala said. “We got a huge spike with holiday travel, and we got to make sure everybody is safe.”

Guests who become sick or do not feel well at the arena will be taken to an isolation room on site.

All guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear a face mask.

Fans aren’t the only ones who are excited to make a comeback.

“Super excited,” said Heat forward Kelly Olynyk. “Obviously, we haven’t had as much fans for a long, long time, the game feels different, the vibes, the energy, the atmosphere. Especially playing at home, it’ll be real nice to have some Heat fans in there.”

For more information on the health and safety measures put in place for Heat games, click here.

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