ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — The state of New York has opened up Excelsior Pass eligibility to veterans who've received their COVID-19 vaccinations in a Veterans Affairs facility.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced Monday veterans who got their shots at the VA will automatically have their immunization records transmitted to both the Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus platforms.
The state says nearly 117,000 veterans are currently eligible to retrieve their proof of vaccination through the app.
"As we fight the winter surge, it's more important than ever that New Yorkers get vaccinated and have access to the Excelsior Pass," Governor Hochul said.
Before the change was rolled out, the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs shared veterans' COVID vaccination data directly with the federal government, bypassing the state.
The state's mask mandate for indoor venues allows businesses to opt out of masking if they require proof of vaccination for anyone 12 and older.
The state will revisit the mandate in January.