President Trump says that the San Diego-based Navy Hospital ship is intended to provide support and help free up space for non-coronavirus patients in Los Angeles.
The USNS Mercy, one of the Navy’s two 1,000-bed hospital ships, will depart to Los Angeles on Monday, March 23 with plans to have over 800 navy medical personnel and support staff as well as more than 70 civil service mariners aboard. The Mercy’s sister ship, the USNS Comfort, will be sent to the New York harbor from its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia sometime in April.
— CaliforniaGuard (@CalGuard) March 23, 2020
Navy Surgeon General, Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, has told reporters that all future patients – as well as the medical staff and all personnel – will be screened for coronavirus symptoms prior to boarding in an attempt to prevent the spread of the novel virus throughout the ship. The county now has more than 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and health officials only expect this number to increase.
Each ship has around 1,000 rooms for patients, 12 fully-equipped operating rooms (9 of which will be available), digital radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a CAT-scan and two oxygen-producing plants, according to the U.S. Navy. However, no pediatric or obstetric care will be provided by the ship’s staff.
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Also published on Medium.