MIAMI (WFLA) – Dogs that can detect COVID-19 are now being used at Miami International Airport as part of a pilot program. 

Some employees have to go through a checkpoint before heading to work. As of now, it’s just limited to some American Airlines employees who pass through two airport checkpoints as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus. 

“This pandemic has pushed us to innovate to stop the spread. I applaud Commissioner McGhee and the County Commission for thinking outside the box with this initiative. We’re proud to do everything we can to protect our residents. I look forward to seeing how the airport tests their skills and expanding the pilot program to other County facilities,” Mayor of Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava said in a press release.

After hundreds of training sessions at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus in Miami this year, the detector dogs achieved accuracy rates from 96 to 99 percent for detecting COVID-19 in published peer-reviewed, double-blind trials.

Miami International Airport is the first airport in the nation to have the dogs. 

“Being able to apply decades of research in this way, to provide an additional layer of protection to airport employees at Miami International Airport, it’s humbling. These dogs are another valuable tool we can leverage to help us live with this ongoing pandemic,” Dr. Kenneth G. Furton, FIU Provost and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry said.