New York launches mobile COVID passport 'Excelsior Pass'

New York has launched a first-of-its-kind mobile COVID-19 passport known as "Excelsior Pass."

Here's how it works: The app, which can be downloaded at the app store on your smartphone of choice, will ask you a series of identifying questions, and then you can upload your results. You then can scan your app upon entry to a stadium, theater or entertainment venue and if your records are up to date, you will be allowed entry.

The app is one way to ensure that those who enter venues are, to the best of their knowledge, COVID-negative.

"If institutions or organizations or venues require the Excelsior Pass, that becomes an issue for people who don't have access to that technology, either because they don't have smartphones or they don't know how to use that technology," said Dr. Danielle Ompad.

The pass gives users the option of printing their records as well and was piloted during recent events at the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden.

It was developed by IBM and because of that, it can be expanded to other states for seamless integration.

In a statement, Governor 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."

IBM followed, saying: "IBM is proud to support the State of New York and believes that this work serves as an example of how new technology-enabled approaches can be used to help foster a safe restart of economies while striving to protect public health."

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