Covid sniffing dogs being used at Mid-South concert venue

OXFORD, Miss. — A north Mississippi venue announced it will be using COVID sniffing dogs to help keep concert-goers virus-free at a sold-out performance this week.

The Lyric in Oxford said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that it will be using the dogs at its sold-out Black Keys concert Thursday night.

“In an effort to make The Lyric a COVID free zone, we will also have a few furry guests working the line helping to get everyone in safely,” the post said.

“Nothing to fear, these canines can sniff with remarkable accuracy and are only trained to sniff COVID 19!”

FOX13 reached out to The Lyric to ask about the decision to use the COVID sniffing dogs. “We are just following guidelines that the band set in place and they are the one who organized the dogs,” the venue said.

The Black Keys latest album, Delta Kream, celebrates the Hill Country blues of northern Mississippi, particularly the songs of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough.

Earlier this month FOX13 reported the Miami International Airport has deployed dogs to detect potentially infected travelers before the passengers can board flights. They are part of a program with Florida International University, where the dogs were trained to alert handlers to the smell of the virus.

The dogs detect the volatile organic compounds or VOCs. When it smells the virus, the dog will jump.

The dogs’ trainers said the animals get the detection right 97% of the time.

RELATED: COVID-19-sniffing dogs on the job at Miami International Airport

In August The Lyric announced it planned to begin requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for entrance to all ticketed concerts.

“In order to prevent further cancellation of concerts due to Covid 19 and for the health of our staff, patrons, artists, crew members, and community, we will now require proof of vaccination or a negative test for entrance to all ticketed concerts.”

The AP reported Lyric general manager Lindsay Dillon-Maginnis said the regulations have been a trend nationwide for music festivals.

“This wasn’t our plan in July, or June. I can’t even say that it was in the beginning of August,” Maginnis said. “As the delta variant has gotten worse and Mississippi has gotten more and more cases, we’re going to reevaluate our policy on Nov. 1 to see if the case count has gone down and where do we stand.”