Hospital Ship Patients Test Positive for COVID-19

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April 6, 2020
The National Ensign is raised aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy, which was deployed to serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 29, 2020. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden/Handout via Reuters

The Military Sealift Command hospital ships USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort were originally deployed to serve as referral hospitals for non-COVID-19 patients admitted to shore-based hospitals in Los Angeles and New York.

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WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) – Some patients being treated for trauma aboard U.S. military hospital ships in New York and Los Angeles have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Pentagon said on Monday.

“Have we had patients who ultimately were determined to have coronavirus on the hospital ships? Yes,” Brigadier General Paul Friedrichs, the joint staff surgeon, told a news conference.

During the same news conference, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said that the hospital ship Comfort in New York would accept trauma patients irrespective of their coronavirus status.

Hoffman added that the U.S. military was set to begin animal testing for a coronavirus vaccine today. (Reporting by Idrees Ali and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Sandra Maler)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.
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