The 1,000-bed hospital ship USNS Mercy arrived at the Port of Los Angeles today to help provide relief for Southern California hospitals before they are overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The ship departed Naval Station San Diego on Monday and is expected to dock at the cruise ship terminal in the Port of Los Angeles Friday morning.
The ship would not be used to house or care for people confirmed to have COVID-19 and instead care for people who are experiencing non-COVID-19 emergencies, such as broken bones or other types of injuries. The more than 800 Navy medical personnel and support staff on board will provide medical care that includes general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults.
The hope is to allow healthcare workers in Los Angeles concentrate on treating COVID-19 patients and reserve intensive care units and ventilators for them.
“This global crisis demands whole of government response, and we are ready to support,” said Navy Capt. John Rotruck, Mercy's military treatment facility commanding officer.
“Mercy brings a team of medical professionals, medical equipment and supplies, all of which will act, in essence, as a `relief valve' for local civilian hospitals in Los Angeles so that local health professionals can better focus on COVID-19 cases,” he said. “We will use our agility and responsiveness as an afloat medical treatment facility to do what the country asks, and bring relief where we are needed most.”