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Will NYS continue to offer Excelsior Pass?

Posted at 12:19 AM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 11:06:01-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Monday, the Bills announced its not going to verify vaccination status for fans this fall. The team will require fans who are unvaccinated to wear masks, per CDC guidelines.

7 Eyewitness News asked the New York State Department of Health what the plan with the Excelsior Pass is going forward.

A representative says, the plan is to keep it available to those who want to use it. The NYSDOH points to the recent Foo Fighters concert at Madison Square Garden. Everyone in attendance needed to prove vaccination.

According to the state, more two million people downloaded the Excelsior Pass wallet to their phones, since the pass came out in March.

New York State initially said the program, run by IBM, would cost taxpayers $2.5 million, but according to the contract with the state, it could cost as much $9 million and over $16 million if a phase two of the program is implemented.

This contract was acquired by STOP, the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, located in New York City.

The executive director of STOP said, “Governor Cuomo should have been open with the public from the start about the cost of this app. We should all be concerned that so much money is being gambled on this unproven technology.”

The NYSDOH says the technology is working. It has a three-year deal with IBM for the Excelsior Pass.

If the state chooses, it can cancel the contract with 30-day notice.