The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office announced its coronavirus-detection K-9 team Thursday, saying it’s the first law enforcement group in the country to utilize dogs trained to detect the virus.
“Bristol County and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have come so far since the pandemic started last year,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said in a statement. “Today, festivals are happening, restaurants are full and concert venues are packed. We’ve made so much progress, and our new COVID-19 detection program is one way the people of Bristol County can stay ahead of the curve.”
Like drugs and weapons, COVID-19 has a unique odor, which two Sheriff’s Office canines are trained to find. The dogs – Huntah and Duke — graduated training Wednesday. They are stepsiblings who were born two weeks apart with the same father but different mothers, officials said.
The detection program was developed by Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute, which used a similar program for dogs detecting fungus in crops and adapted it to COVID detection.
The school uses dogs to detect COVID-19 on its campus.
“This is all science,” Sheriff Capt. Paul Douglas said. “This program was developed by professors, doctors, and scientists at FIU, and we couldn’t be more proud or excited to execute it here in Bristol County.”
As part of the training, FIU used medical masks worn by COVID-19 patients. An ultraviolet system was used to kill the contagious portion on the mask but still leave the odor. The Sheriff’s office is working with the New Bedford Fire Department and EMS providers on acquiring masks worn by COVID patients for future use in training.
The dogs can also detect advanced variants such as the Delta variant.
“It’s best to think of it as a decontamination tool,” Douglas said. “The dogs can detect the COVID odor on a counter or table if it was recently touched by a COVID-positive individual, or even detect the odor on a tissue used by someone with COVID.”
In the coming months, Huntah and Duke will also be trained in locating missing people.
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Has Been Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
This follows his transfer to a medical facility in December
The new comes from a letter he wrote:
French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’
French president Macron’s desire to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated individuals triggers outrage
Macron spoke candidly during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, during which he said that he wanted to make life difficult for individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The French “sanitary pass” has prompted a number of protests and stiff opposition while the country nears 75% full vaccination.
“I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,” Macron said three months ahead of a presidential election. “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison, so we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”
The French Parliament heard Macron’s comments during a debate over his proposed bill to tighten restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, leading to a swift and strong uproar in response.
His opponents have labeled the comments “unworthy” of a president.
“Even if one doesn’t share their choice, they have broken none of our country’s laws,” Marine Le Pen, Macron’s chief opponent in the upcoming election, told reporters late Tuesday. “He is continuing his policy of division, of pitting the French against one another.”
She later tweeted “A president shouldn’t say that…Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
Leftist politician Jean-Luc Melanchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession,” according to the BBC.
But Macron’s allies have defended the comments, with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, arguing on Twitter that unvaccinated individuals have “bothered” the French by “forcing the rest of the population to endure restrictions.”
Debate over Macron’s bill continue into Wednesday as opponents still seek to delay its passage. Some of his supporters claimed to have received death threats because they are backing the legislation, The New York Times reported.
Boston Mayor Wu Relentlessly Heckled As New COVID-19 Restrictions Are Announced
Boston unveils the ‘Be Together’ initiative, requiring full vaccination for entry to restaurants, gyms, and sports arenas for anyone 12 and older. In March the mandate will phase-in for younger children.