USNS Comfort begins journey back to Virginia

Virginia News

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Navy hospital ship sent to relieve stressed New York City hospitals as coronavirus cases surged is returning to its homeport in Virginia, the U.S. Navy said. The USNS Comfort is leaving New York as it sets sail for Norfolk on Thursday.

The ship docked in Manhattan on March 30, and while it was originally deployed to care for non-coronavirus patients, by April 6 it had begun accepting those with the virus as the city’s hospitals continued to crowd.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that the ship was no longer needed as stresses on the hospital system appeared to be easing. As of Saturday, the 1,000-bed hospital ship had treated 182 patients. The last patients were discharged this week, according to the Navy.

Once in Norfolk, the ship will restock and remain ready for possible future deployments, officials said.

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