The Excelsior Pass platform will allow New Yorkers to present proof of vaccination to participating businesses and venues without disclosing health information. Courtesy photo.

New York State has launched a new platform it hopes will help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

“Excelsior Pass,” a free, voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM, will confirm an individual’s recent negative PCR or antigen test result or proof of vaccination.

The platform utilizes proven, secure technology to confirm the test result or proof of vaccination, Cuomo said.

New Yorkers who opt in to the program may use Excelsior Pass to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, or catered and other events above the social gathering limit.

Major venues have already announced they will begin utilizing this technology in the coming weeks, including Madison Square Garden in New York City beginning next week. Beginning April 2, Excelsior Pass will expand to smaller arts, entertainment and event venues, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

You can retrieve a pass at the Excelsior pass website if you have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days and:

  • you have been fully vaccinated in the State of New York and it has been 14 days or longer since your final shot, or
  • you had a PCR test administered in the State of New York in the last 3 days and the result was negative, or
  • you had an antigen test administered in the State of New York in the last 6 hours and the result was negative. 

Once you retrieve your pass, you can print it or add it to the Excelsior Pass Wallet app.

You can download the Excelsior Pass Wallet app for Android here and for iOS here. Interested businesses can download the Excelsior Pass Scanner app for Android here and for iOS here.

Excelsior Pass can be used to voluntarily show a QR code as proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test result via a digital smartphone wallet or printed credential without sharing underlying personal health details. Excelsior Pass users must also present ID to verify their name and date of birth.

Excelsior Pass is built on IBM’s Digital Health Pass solution and is designed to enable the secure verification of health credentials such as test results and vaccination records without the need to share underlying medical and personal information; no private health data is stored or tracked within the apps, according to the press release.

“Excelsior Pass was designed with equity and equal access at the forefront. With multi-language access, a robust Help Desk, and multiple ways to use Excelsior Pass — whether you have a smartphone or not — New York is committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers can participate in the safe, convenient and responsible reopening of our economy,” the governor’s press release said.

So far, a dozen labs have committed to rapid reporting of COVID test results to the State Department of Health’s Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System, which will help ensure that Excelsior Pass users are able to receive their testing results in the required window of time before an event. Learn more or make an appointment here.

The state continues to work with other labs and rapid testing sites to expand the list of partners and expedite reporting so users have timely, accurate results to participate in congregate economic and social activities, the governor said.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.