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EditorialOff the News

Off the News: Sniffing out COVID-19

In a study at The Queen’s Medical Center, three Labrador retrievers and a golden retriever are being trained to use their powerful noses to sniff out COVID-19 on samples of patient sweat collected on gauze pieces. Similar canine training is in the works in several countries.

The research at Queen’s shows promise that dogs could assist in Hawaii’s pandemic-fighting effort — possibly pinpointing even people with asymptomatic infection in places like airports, schools and hospitals. While this sniff test is not expected to replace polymerase chain reaction testing, dogs could provide a welcome non-invasive layer to ongoing virus screening.

Breaking up gambling dens

Honolulu police officers have been raiding and closing down illegal gambling houses at a clip this year, chalking up about two-thirds the arrest count of 2020 in only the first quarter of this year. The typical number of illegal gaming rooms ranges between 50 and 80, police said.

Scofflaws might be deterred, instead flying off to the newly reopened Las Vegas venues. Or perhaps Hawaii, like other states, could issue lottery tickets for the fully vaccinated.

The gambling habit itself? Hard to stamp out.

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