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Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Admits New Jersey Patients

April 20, 2020 | BY NAVY PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS SCOTT BIGLEY

The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort has begun admitting patients from hospitals in New Jersey in an effort to expand its support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts.

New Jersey state hospitals coordinated with Comfort doctors to ensure patients could be effectively transferred across state lines and aboard the ship to receive care.

Medical technicians wearing protective gear sanitize the inside of an ambulance.
Medical Services
An emergency medical services team sanitizes an ambulance after dropping off a patient for treatment aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort in New York, April 17, 2020. The Comfort cares for trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. It is deployed in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sara Eshleman
VIRIN: 200409-N-EV253-1169M

"Every one of those that we pull from the community or from the city hospitals is one more open bed for New Jersey hospitals to refill," said Navy Capt. (Dr.) Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the medical treatment facility aboard Comfort. "I'm very proud of the crew, our medical providers, nurses, support staff that are providing outstanding care to the people of New York City and New Jersey. We look at it as one patient at a time."

Sailors wearing protective gear stand by the open back door of an ambulance.
Medical Services
Sailors prepare to transport an arriving patient from an ambulance onto the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort in New York, April 17, 2020. The Comfort cares for trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. It is deployed in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sara Eshleman
VIRIN: 200409-N-EV253-1222M
Two Navy officers stand and talk in front of a tent bearing a sign that reads “NYC Thanks You! USNS Comfort.”
Medical Services
Navy Cmdr. Lori Cici, left, and Navy Lt. Akneca Bumfield stand by for an inbound ambulance carrying a patient arriving for medical care aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort in New York, April 17, 2020. The Comfort cares for trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. It is deployed in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sara Eshleman
VIRIN: 200409-N-EV253-1038M
Four sailors dressed in protective gear consult an electronic device as they stand by the open back door of an ambulance.
Medical Services
Sailors track a patient’s arrival and arrange transport from the pier to their receiving unit aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort in New York, April 17, 2020. The Comfort cares for trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. It is deployed in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sara Eshleman
VIRIN: 200409-N-EV253-1145M

Moored in New York, the ship serves as a referral hospital for critical and noncritical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. Comfort is working with Javits New York Medical Station, federal and state officials as an integrated system to relieve the medical systems for both New York City, as well as nearby New Jersey, in support of U.S. Northern Command's Defense Support of Civil Authorities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comfort is a seagoing medical treatment facility that has more than 1,200 personnel embarked for the New York mission, including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands and civil service mariners.

(Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Bigley is assigned to U.S. 2nd Fleet.)