NY testing COVID-19 'boarding pass' at MSG, Barclays that could 'fast-track' reopenings

Excelsior Pass
The Excelsior Pass. Photo credit Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York state has started testing a COVID-19 “boarding pass” at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center events in hopes that it can eventually be used at theaters and other businesses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

The “Excelsior Pass,” which resembles a boarding pass or a passport, “will use proven, secure technology to confirm an individual’s vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test through a confidential data transfer to help fast-track the reopening of theaters, stadiums and other businesses in accordance with new York State guidelines,” Cuomo said in a press release Tuesday.

The state first tested the pass at the Brooklyn Nets’ game at Barclays Center on Feb. 27, and tested it again at the New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, he said.

The passes, which the state developed in partnership with IBM, contain a secure QR code venues can scan to confirm that someone has tested negative for COVID-19, the release explained.

New Yorkers can print out the pass or store it in their phone’s “Wallet App,” the release noted.

“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,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“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,” he added.