Sailors on San Diego-based hospital ship move ashore to treat virus patients

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LOS ANGELES — The San Diego-based hospital ship USNS Mercy has been treating patients on board its “floating hospital” during the coronavirus pandemic, but now its extending its service onto land.

So far, the ship has been used to treat non-virus patients, performing surgeries and treating illnesses such as pneumonia or heart conditions. Now 40 sailors on the Mercy have a new mission: They are headed into the greater Los Angeles area to fight COVID-19 directly, treating virus-positive patients at a skilled nursing facility

FOX 5’s Heather Lake spoke with the ship’s commanding officer, Capt. John Rotruck, about the new way the Mercy is serving the community.

Learn more about the hospital ship here.

Hospitalman Christina Ramirez, from Seattle, assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy, coordinates a patient admission to a skilled nursing facility in Orange County. Mercy is deployed in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rawad Madanat)

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