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Coronavirus Impact: Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy leaves San Diego for Los Angeles

Posted at 5:55 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 07:46:13-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The Navy’s hospital ship USNS Mercy left her San Diego homeport Monday and deployed to the Port of Los Angeles to assist area medical facilities as they deal with rising coronavirus cases.

Last week, President Trump announced the Mercy and USNS Comfort would be deployed to the nation’s coasts. The White House’s coronavirus task force said the hospital ships' main objective would be to treat non-COVID-19 patients, which would allow regional hospitals to directly tackle virus cases.

Mercy personnel will be working closely with local health officials to decide which cases will be sent to the ship. The USNS Mercy, based at Naval Base San Diego, comes with a staff of more than 800, who are ready to help to provide critical and urgent care for adults.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote a letter to Trump requesting for the Mercy to dock in Los Angeles through Sept. 1.

“This resource will help decompress the health care delivery system to allow the Los Angeles region to ensure that it has the ability to address critical acute care needs, such as heart attacks and strokes or vehicle accidents, in addition to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.”

Trump said the government would be shipping out additional mobile hospital units to California, but it has not been announced where in the state those units would be stationed.