Navy Hospital Ship Set to Arrive in NYC Harbor

NEW YORK (AP) -
The USNS Comfort is seen as it enters New York Harbor during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, Monday. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds is scheduled to arrive Monday morning in New York Harbor to help relieve the coronavirus crisis gripping the city’s hospitals.

The USNS Comfort, which was 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.