Digital vaccine verification to launch days before Oahu businesses require proof of vaccination

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — There will soon be a way to verify Hawaii vaccination cards digitally.

The State is launching its SMART Health Card days before many Honolulu and Maui businesses require proof of vaccination.

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Starting Friday, Sept. 10, those vaccinated in Hawaii will be able to upload a photo of their card to the Hawaii Smart Health Card section of the Safe Travels Platform. Once verified, they will get a QR code on their phone to show a restaurant or gym to prove they are vaccinated.

The Hawaii Smart Health Card is being touted as a new, simple way to provide vaccine verification and help prevent the use of fake cards.

“The Hawaii SMART Health Card is just a digital way that everyone that has a smartphone would be able to pre-verify their status,” Gov. David Ige explained.

It eliminates the need to carry around a hard copy.

Doug Murdock, from the State Office of Enterprise Technology Services, said the SMART Health Card button goes live on Friday.

“You’ll have to take a photo of your vaccine document and select the SMART Health Card feature in Safe Travels,” Murdock explained. “You can upload it there and complete the application the system will generate the QR code that you saw on the screen earlier and will also show that you’ve been verified.”

Murdock said it should take a few seconds for the verification. After the QR code is generated, the user can use that, with an ID, as proof of vaccination.

Businesses can also download the Smart Health Card Verifier app to scan the QR code for verification.

“The verification application will show (the business) additional information showing that the record is valid. But it’s not direct access into the state database,” Murdock said.

It only works for those in Hawaii’s database. Verification for visitors is limited to those from states using the national standard.

“Any restaurant that is looking at verifying Hawaii vaccinations will also probably be able to verify California and New York vaccinations as they use the SMART Health Card standard,” Ige said.

The program is voluntary — people can still use their physical vaccination card or other acceptable test documents.

Murdock said they are hoping to expand the platform to include negative COVID results soon.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 13, customers will need to show their vaccination card (or a photo of it) at the door or a negative COVID test results within the last 48 hours to get into certain businesses as part of the Safe Access Oahu program. They will also be able to use their SMART Health Cards. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said it is the best way to avoid another lockdown and warned that businesses will be fined if they do not comply.

“Ultimately, if we get a lot of problems, we will shut them down. This is in the name of public health. There’s a lot of leverage in our office to do things like this,” Blangiardi said last week.

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said a similar program will start on Sept. 15, pending the governor’s approval. Restrictions include limiting social gatherings to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors. Proof of vaccination will be required to dine indoors; unvaccinated may dine outdoors or order take-out.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

The state rolled out similar programs over the summer for its Safe Travels program that allows travelers to upload their negative COVID test result or vaccine verification to bypass quarantine. The program has partnered with CLEAR and CommonPass for digital health passes.

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