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New Yorkers Can Now Prove ‘COVID-Clear’ Status Via Excelsior Pass App

New York has launched the first mobile COVID-19 “certification” in the nation, the Excelsior Pass, designed to help residents prove that they’ve been vaccinated or recently tested negative for the coronavirus.

People can now show their status via the Excelsior Pass app at large venues like Madison Square Garden and Barclay Center; dozens of event, arts and entertainment venues across the state; and to gain permission to increase the size of catered events, like weddings.

The app displays digital, scannable QR codes resembling the ones that airlines read at airports. Entertainment venues will simply scan the codes and get a green check mark or a red X.

That said, Excelsior Pass simply transfers information from the state's vaccine registry, which is linked to testing data pre-approved testing companies. New York’s system is reportedly built on IBM's digital health pass platform, which keeps private medical information encrypted and hidden from IBM or any other outside business.

To use the app, people will need to “enter their name, date of birth, and ZIP code, and answer a series of personal questions to confirm their identity,” reports USA Today. Those who get shots at pharmacies and retailers like Walmart may also be able to prove their vaccination status using company apps.

Nationwide, states are hoping to roll out more coordinated efforts or certifications for people to prove they’ve been vaccinated or recently tested negative. Physical sheets of paper and even some digital methods are easy to defraud, so agencies are also looking at ways to possibly incorporate COVID-clear status with government-issued IDs.

Ultimately, the best solution will use common standards for COVID tests and vaccinations, and it will work across states and even countries. While that may yet be a bit far off, it is key for getting the global economy fully flowing again.


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