Since February 23, arenas in New York have reopened sporting events to fans at over 10% capacity for venues with over 10,000 seats. Two of the stadiums that have hosted fans since are Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. 

With the resumption of fan attendance comes coronavirus concerns. Keeping this in mind, all staff and fans must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event and must wear face coverings. 

As a result, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center will be used as testing grounds for a new digital pass that could confirm owner COVID status. This pass will verify an individual’s vaccination status or recent negative coronavirus test status. 

What became known as the Excelsior Pass was first tested on February 27 at Barclays Center for a Nets game. It was tested for the second time during a Rangers game on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. 

Like a mobile boarding pass, the Excelsior Pass can be printed out or stored on a smartphone. Each pass had a secure QR code that the venue can scan to confirm the owner’s COVID status. 

The pass only informs the venue if a pass is valid or not. There are currently plans for the Excelsior Pass to be available to the 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 (D). “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. “

“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.

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