New York will shut down its COVID-era vaccination app
NEW YORK (AP) — A $64 million mobile app used by New Yorkers during the pandemic to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be shut down in the coming weeks, according to state officials.
The Excelsior Pass app, a digital relic of the pandemic, has rarely been used during the past two years, but it costs the state at least $200,000 a month to maintain, according to the Times Union of Albany. The app will be decommissioned on July 28, and state officials say the stored personal data will remain “private and secure.”
The app was launched in 2021 and was used by 11.5 million people. It stored a person's vaccination status against the coronavirus and could quickly indicate whether someone was up to date with vaccine requirements for admittance to certain places like outdoor dining restaurants or major entertainment venues.
“Because demand for instant access to vaccine records has subsided and the public health emergency has ended, the Excelsior Pass app will be discontinued,” Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokeswoman for Gov. Kathy Hochul, said in a statement. “Going forward, the state will use knowledge gained from this project to improve how New Yorkers can use technology to access services and benefits.”