NEW YORK – With the limited resumption of sporting events at venues in New York, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center will be used as testing grounds for a new digital pass that could confirm the owner’s COVID status. It will confirm an individual’s vaccination or recent negative coronavirus test.
First tested at the Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center on Feb. 27, the Excelsior Pass created with IBM, was tested for a second time during the New York Rangers game on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
Like a mobile boarding pass, people can print out their Excelsior Pass or store it on their smartphones. The pass has a secure QR code which the venue then scans to confirm the owner’s COVID status. The QR code only informs the venue if a pass is valid or invalid.
Plans are in the works for the Excelsior Pass to make its way to Apple and Google app stores.
“We’re doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping the infection rate down and reenergizing our economy in a safe, smart way,” said Gov. Cuomo. “As we begin reopening the valves on different sectors of our economy, we are putting guidelines in place to ensure individuals attending events involving larger gatherings have tested negative for COVID or have been vaccinated to avoid an outbreak of the virus. ”
As of Feb. 23, venues with over 10,000 seats were allowed to reopen at 10% capacity. All staff and guests must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event and wear face coverings.
“The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal,” added Cuomo.