An American hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, recently departed Naval Station Norfolk for New York City in support of US COVID-19 response efforts. 

The US Navy say the ship will serve as a referral hospital for patients not infected with Covid-19, providing a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults, while allowing shore-based civilian hospitals to focus on their medical care devoted to the treatment of Covid-19 19 patients.

“The entire Comfort team safely, efficiently and effectively completed their maintenance availability, readied the hospital for patients, moved aboard and readied the ship for operations in minimal time,” said Capt. Joseph O’Brien, commodore of Amphibious Squadron Six and the Task Force New York City mission commander.

“The Sailors, Marines, and Civilian Mariners drawn from commands across the Hampton Roads area and embarked aboard Comfort will quickly integrate as we begin the vital task of Defense Support to Civil Authorities.”

Comfort departed Naval Station Norfolk with over 1,100 US Navy medical personnel and support staff with the afloat medical treatment facility, and over 70 civil service mariners.

“The ship expects to begin receiving patients 24 hours after arriving in New York City. All patient transfers will be coordinated with local hospitals, thus ensuring a consistent handoff of care between medical providers. Patients will not be accepted on a walk-on basis, and should not come to the pier with an expectation that they can receive care.”

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