USNS Mercy returning to San Diego after providing non-COVID-19 care in Los Angeles

Posted at 4:36 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 19:36:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The San Diego-based USNS Mercy is set to return to homeport after being sent to Los Angeles to alleviate the health care system amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Navy hospital ship was sent to Los Angeles in March to help treat non-COVID-19 patients which would allow local hospitals to directly tackle coronavirus cases.

While the ship will depart Los Angeles on Friday, some medical personnel with remain in LA to support response requirements.

Those crew members include four, six-member medical support teams to be deployed as needed for critical needs and 40 medical staffers to remain at Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa.

"The medical professionals aboard Mercy are proud and humbled to have assisted FEMA, the State of California, Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles, while serving as a 'relief valve' to the community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Every patient brought aboard created one more available bed in a local hospital," said Capt. John Rotruck, commanding officer, Medical Treatment Facility USNS Mercy.

Last month, seven crew members tested positive for COVID-19 and were removed from the ship and placed into quarantine on a nearby base.

The Mercy houses a staff of more than 800 crew members able to provide critical and urgent care for adults.