Navy deploying "floating hospital" in coronavirus relief effort

Mar 19 2020, 11:45 am

In an effort to assist New York healthcare providers with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the US Navy along with Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a post on the governor’s website that they would soon be deploying the USNS Comfort to assist in relief efforts.

The vessel, anticipated to arrive in April, is a hospital ship that comes equipped with 1,000 beds and 12 fully functional operating rooms that will “significantly increase New York’s hospital surge capacity.”

Governor Cuomo also explained that he would be issuing an executive order instructing all non-essential businesses to create a remote working policy by Friday, March 20.

Operations that require staff to be in-office are ordered to reduce the number of workers present by 50%, the post explains.

However, there are exceptions. The order does not apply to service industry providers that are necessary for maintaining supply chains, such as pharmacies, healthcare providers, shipping, and food production.

“We are fighting a war against this pandemic and we know that two of the most effective ways to stop it is by reducing density and increasing our hospital capacity so our healthcare system is not overwhelmed,” Governor Cuomo stated in the post.

“The deployment of the USNS Comfort to New York is an extraordinary but necessary step to help ensure our state has the capacity to handle an influx of patients with COVID-19 and continue our efforts to contain the virus.”

The governor also explained that issuing the order that all private sectors establish work-from-home policies is crucial in flatting the curve of the coronavirus pandemic.

“My number one priority is protecting the public health so that a wave of new cases doesn’t crash our hospital system, and we will continue taking any action necessary to achieve that goal.”

According to the post, the governor also confirmed 1,008 additional cases of coronavirus in New York. The total number of confirmed cases in the state is now 2,382.