With great anticipation, New York City welcomed the USNS Comfort on March 30th. People all over the country watched live streams of the Navy hospital ship entering New York Harbor. Aiming to ease coronavirus pressure in NYC, it’s a beacon of hope we all desperately needed.
UPDATE (4/7): Governor Cuomo announced that the USNS Comfort will now be used for COVID-19 patients, reducing bed capacity from 1,000 to 500 to ensure a safe distance between patients.
What you need to know about the USNS Comfort in NYC
The ship, which was built in 1976, was deployed in NYC once before: after the September 11th attacks. Now, the Navy hospital ship has returned to New York to provide relief to overwhelmed hospitals. It will, however, not treat coronavirus patients. Instead, it will be treating patients without coronavirus to make more space for coronavirus patients at other hospitals.
Along with the temporary hospital Javits Center and makeshift hospitals constructed in Central Park, the USNS Comfort is increasing the city’s hospital capacity which is vital in managing the fight against COVID-19. As New York is bracing for its apex in active cases, expected to hit in two weeks according to Governor Cuomo, the additional medical aid will be a crucial factor.
The USNS Comfort is equipped with:
- 1,000 rooms
- ICU beds
- 12 operating rooms
- a medical laboratory
- radiology suites
- a CAT scanner
- a pharmacy
When did the USNS Comfort arrive in NYC?
The USNS Comfort departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday, March 28, and arrived in New York Harbor on March 30. It docked shortly before 11 am.
Its sister ship, the U.S. Naval Hospital Ship Mercy, docked in Los Angeles last Friday, March 27 to alleviate burdens in the Californian metropolis.
Where is the USNS Comfort now?
The Navy hospital ship is docked at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side. You can see it from this live webcam.
How long will the USNS Comfort be in NYC?
The USNS Comfort begins treating patients Tuesday, March 31. It is not clear, however, how long it will remain in New York City.