Navy hospital ship arrives in NY to relieve crowded hospitals

Coronavirus

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departs Naval Station Norfolk, Va., March 28, 2020. Comfort is deploying in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore-based hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. (Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Sheppard/U.S. Navy via AP)

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NEW YORK (AP) — A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived in New York City Monday to provide relief for the region’s rapidly crowding medical centers.

The USNS Comfort, which was also sent to New York City after 9/11, will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was expected to greet the vessel when it reaches the harbor and docks at a Manhattan cruise ship terminal. In addition to the 1,000 beds, the Comfort has 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours.

The ship’s arrival comes as New York state’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed Sunday above 1,000, less than a month after the first known infection in the state.

Most of those deaths have occurred in just the past few days.

New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, reported Sunday that its toll had risen to 776. The total number of statewide deaths isn’t expected to be released until Monday, but with at least 250 additional deaths recorded outside the city as of Sunday morning, the state’s total fatalities was at least 1,026.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said President Donald Trump’s suggestion that thousands of medical masks are disappearing from New York City hospitals is “insulting” to front-line medical workers

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