Excelsior Pass: New York launches digital vaccination, testing passport app

New York State

This undated photo, provided by NY Governor’s Press Office on Saturday March 27, 2021, shows the new “Excelsior Pass” app, a digital pass that people can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. (NY Governor’s Press Office via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York has launched a digital pass that people can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

The “Excelsior Pass” will be accepted at major entertainment venues like Madison Square Garden and Albany’s Times Union Center.

The app is similar to a mobile airline boarding pass and uses a secure QR code that can be stored in a smartphone or printed out.

Officials said the technology doesn’t store or track private health data within the app.

“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The question of ‘public health or the economy’ has always been a false choice — the answer must be both. As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening.”

Interested New Yorkers can opt in to use Excelsior Pass online, and so can businesses.

Beginning April 2, Excelsior Pass will expand to smaller arts, entertainment and event venues, according to the governor’s office.

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