Governor Hochul announces Excelsior pass now available for military veterans who received COVID-19 vaccines at veterans facility

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus are now available to all military veterans who have been vaccinated at a US Department of Veterans Affairs hospital or health facility in New York City. The State’s Office of Information Technology Services, the Division of Veterans Services, the Department of Health, the Executive Chamber, and federal government officials have worked together to ensure that nearly 117,000 military veterans currently eligible can collect their secure proof of vaccination from the State’s Excelsior Pass platform and fully participate in the reopening of the State.

“As we battle the winter wave, it is more important than ever that New Yorkers get vaccinated and have access to the Excelsior Pass,” Governor Hochul said. “From health care to housing, New Yorkers who have served our country deserve care and respect when they return home. That is why I am proud to report that hundreds of thousands of New York veterans will now be able to use the Excelsior Pass, so they can share proof of vaccination and be easily greeted in businesses and locations across the state. ”

Before this change was implemented, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shared COVID-19 immunization data received by U.S. Army veterans living, working, and getting vaccinated in New York City directly with the federal government. This immunization data therefore remained outside state jurisdiction and could not be included in state immunization databases.

This fall, Governor Hochul issued an executive order that started the process to allow the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to forward vaccination records related to COVID-19. Through this coordination, he gave VA the authority to provide this data to enable its veterans to participate in the Excelsior Pass programs. There are now over 700,000 veterans living in New York City.

Angelo ‘Tony’ Riddick, New York State Chief Information Officer noted, “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Hochul and our partners at all levels of government, Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus are now available to all veterans. As a 30-year active duty army veteran who was vaccinated in the VA, I can report that I joined the ranks and got my Excelsior Pass. We all need to work together and take proactive steps to continue to keep New York City safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is exactly what the Excelsior Pass platform does. ”

New York State Acting Health Commissioner Dr Mary T. Bassett said: “Today’s news reinforces the state’s commitment to giving all individuals access to a privacy-preserving vaccination pass, including veterans and their families. Thanks to Governor Hochul’s leadership, we continue to do everything possible to ensure that all New Yorkers, as well as New York businesses, have the tools they need during the pandemic and this winter wave. Ensuring these datasets are now sent to the state not only provides more New York veterans with secure access to their evidence of vaccination results, but it also provides the state with more data that help us continue to promote and best protect the health of all New Yorkers. . ”

Veterans Services Division Director Viviana DeCohen said: “I congratulate Governor Hochul and all members of the Veterans Services Division, the Department of Health, the Bureau of Computer Services, the Executive Chamber and the Federal Government who have joined forces to meet this urgent need. . As a Marine Corps veteran who received COVID-19 vaccines at a VA medical facility, I know firsthand the important role that access to VA medical services plays for veterans and their families. Many Veterans, their spouses and caregivers have received their COVID-19 vaccines at VA medical facilities and deserve the opportunity to prove their immunization status using the Excelsior Pass and the Excelsior Pass Plus. Thanks to Governor Hochul and this collaborative effort at all levels of government, these VA-vaccinated veterans and their families can now obtain and use these passes to demonstrate their full immunization status and play a role. active in efforts to safely reopen New York. I encourage all New York Veterans and their family members who have been vaccinated at VA facilities to obtain their Excelsior Pass or Excelsior Pass Plus as soon as possible.

New York State was the first in the country to launch a COVID-19 proof of vaccination and negative test pass system, with more than 8.4 million Excelsior passes, including more than 2 million passes. -pass Excelsior Plus, issued since March 2021. The toolkit continues to be of crucial importance in simultaneously supporting efforts to reopen the state, public health and economic development.

Earlier this month, Governor Hochul announced that masks must be worn in all indoor public places unless companies or sites implement a vaccine requirement. Companies and sites that implement a proof of vaccination requirement should ensure that anyone 12 years of age or older is fully vaccinated before entering indoors.

New York State has been a national leader in the early development of digital vaccination evidence and negative test results, along with a free, verifiable business app. The app, available in more than ten languages, is the first tool designed to validate immunization passes issued by other U.S. states as well as seven provinces and territories in Canada based on federal and state COVID- guidelines. 19. With new state requirements for indoor masking and proof of vaccination, the Excelsior Pass platform continues to be an essential tool for New Yorkers and businesses.

Individuals can find out more about Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus here. Eligible people can collect their Pass here. Businesses and locations can learn more about the Excelsior Pass Scanner app, free to all businesses nationwide and available in over ten languages, and the New York State Trusted Issuers Framework here.

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