Metallica, Tool, More Employs COVID Sniffer Dogs for Tour Safety

People have found a new use for “man’s best friend”: detecting COVID-19. An Ohio-based company, Biodetection K9, has used dogs to detect COVID on various high-profile musical tours over the past year.

In order to prevent the virus from postponing or canceling tours, artists like Black keys, Metallica, Tool, and Eric Church recruited the puppies as an added precaution. After a successful stint with the Black Keys, Church employed the dogs for their entire fall 2021 tour. Seeing success, Metallica then used the service for their shows in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Atlanta, Ga. as well as for the two-night 40th anniversary group concerts in San Francisco, California. Pursuit center (12/17, 12/19).

“So far, touch wood, the dogs took him out of the park”, John peets of Q Prime, the management company of Metallica and Eric Church, said Rolling stone. “We haven’t had a missing dog.”

“Everyone at the loading dock gets sniffed,” Church’s production manager, Malcom Weldon, added. “We asked them to recruit a few local guys who thought they were negative. Then these guys went for a PCR test and it came back that they were positive.”

Church will continue to use the dogs on the 2022 part of its Gather again tour, while Tool (and a variety of other acts) will tap into an additional pool of dogs when he launches his 2022 tour at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, OR on January 10.

Related: Metallica Eliminates Rarities As San Francisco’s 40th Anniversary Approaches [Videos]

President of Bio Detection K9 Jerry johnson, an Air Force veteran who worked with dog teams while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s, said Rolling stone that the company has 12 dogs in service with at least seven or eight more during a six week training period. The company has a 98-99% accuracy rate in double-blind validation studies, and because they can test up to 200 people per hour, they are much cheaper than traditional tests. While dogs have already sniffed their hands and feet, the fast-spreading Omicron variant has forced the company – and the dogs – to adapt. Instead, dogs sniff masks to detect the new variant.

“The new variant is different,” Johnson explained to Rolling stone. “It is localized in the bronchial passages. So the dogs were not as precise as we had been looking for. We had to change it. “

With the recent COVID-related postponements and cancellations spreading throughout the industry, it will be interesting to see how these dogs can be used to maintain shows while maintaining an acceptable level of safety. The music industry will need this kind of adaptation and ingenuity to successfully come out of almost two years of gradual shutdowns.

For more information on Bio Detection K9 and its services, visit the company’s official website. website.

[H/T Rolling Stone]
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