Navy hospital ship crew member tests positive for coronavirus
A crew member aboard the USNS Comfort, which is serving as a temporary hospital while docked in New York harbor, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Navy confirmed to multiple news outlets.
“There is no impact to Comfort’s mission, and this will not affect the ability for Comfort to receive patients,” the Navy told ABC News, which first reported the development. “The ship is following protocols and taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all crewmembers and patients on board.”
The crew member had no contact with patients and is in isolation aboard the ship, according to the Navy’s statement.
A spokesperson for the Navy was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Hill on Tuesday.
The USNS Comfort was just designated to treat COVID-19 patients after a request from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
The ship had initially been set to treat non-coronavirus patients, but Cuomo said there was not a large need for treating uninfected patients.
This means 1,000 additional beds staffed by federal personnel.
This will provide much-needed relief to our over stressed hospital systems.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 6, 2020
The Comfort, which has 1,000 beds, is set up as one of two temporary hospitals in New York City to treat COVID-19 patients.
The other facility at the Javits Center has 2,500 beds.