NY Launches Blockchain App that Verifies Covid19 Vaccination Status Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 29 March 2021 Governor Andrew. M. Cuomo of New York has launched a blockchain-based digital health platform called Excelsior Pass. The Excelsior Pass was launched in a bid to fast-track the reopening of businesses, entertainment venues, and public spaces in general in New York. Using The Excelsior Pass To Gain Entry According to a press release, the Excelsior Pass uses a secure QR code to prove the coronavirus vaccination status or negative test result of an individual. The Digital Pass is similar to an airline boarding pass app. Users will either print out their Pass or store it on their smartphones via the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Developed in partnership with IBM, Excelsior Pass offers ways to share Covid19 vaccination or negative Covid19 status easily in accordance with New York’s Covid19 protocols. The latest Covid19 rules in New York require that event venues demand proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination status before allowing attendants to enter. New Yorkers can now use Excelsior Pass to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to event centers such as stadiums. Using Excelsior Pass is, however, voluntary. New Yorkers can always show alternate proof of vaccination or testing to gain entry to venues that require them. Notable venues like Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden and Albany’s Times-Union Center are ready to utilize this new technology in the coming weeks. More minor arts and event venues would also begin using this new technology from April. Governor Cuomo described the Excelsior Pass in his 2021 State of the State Address as a proven and secure technology that confirms an individual’s recent negative PCR for antigen test results or proof of vaccination. “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,” Governor Cuomo added. Tackling Increasing Coronavirus Infections The Excelsior Pass launch comes when coronavirus infections in New York continue to increase despite vaccination efforts. Daily cases are reported to have averaged about 50,000 people per week since mid-February. New York recently reported 548 cases for every 100,000 residents over the past 14 days. New York State is the first state in the United States to launch this kind of technology formally. Before its launch, two successful pilot demonstrations were held in recent weeks, along with a beta test where thousands of New Yorkers participated in a limited rollout of the technology to provide feedback on user interface and results.