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Rock bands using COVID-sniffing dogs on tour

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Posted at 6:11 AM, Jan 11, 2022

Two of the biggest bands in the world have taken their search for safety a step further by enlisting the help of COVID sniffing dogs to find anyone in their travelling groups who may have contracted the virus. Metallica and Tool, according to Rolling Stone, have also used canines to aid in their COVID strategies.

Metallica hired the Ohio-based Bio Detection K9 company for several of its fall performances, according to the report, while Tool will utilize a separate squad of canines when their tour begins. The company has been in operation for more than a decade, long before the recent pandemic, and uses dogs to detect viruses, germs, and fungi. The company's canines (12 are currently in service, with seven or eight more in training) are specifically taught to respond to COVID-19 and its many strains, and do not react to seasonal flus and colds. The program began in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture and other government entities.

"So far, knock on wood, the dogs have been knocking it out of the park," says John Peets of Metallica management company Q Prime. "We haven't had a dog miss anybody."

The COVID-sniffing dogs are not used to comb through entire concert audiences, but rather to check smaller groups of people.

Shawn Reed, the director of training and operations for Bio Detection K9, explained that people are required to wear a face mask for at least 10 minutes before the test in order to supply the dog with a more concentrated sample. They then stand there with the mask in their hand while the dog goes by.