Jan. 1 (UPI) — A Los Angeles County supervisor has asked California Gov. Gavin Newsom to request that the USNS Mercy, a 1,000-bed hospital ship, return to the city to help fight COVID-19.
“The USNS Mercy can add more emergency care capacity for patients not suffering from COVID-19 related health complications,” she wrote. “This will in turn alleviate the burden on hospitals, so they can focus on severely ill COVID-19 patients. I also ask that you call on our federal partners to bring back the USNS Mercy with accompanying medical staff to the Port of Los Angeles. Emergency departments throughout LA County are overwhelmed and cannot take in all patients in need of urgent care.”
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surged through the Christmas holiday, and Hahn noted that public health officials anticipate a “surge upon a surge” in the coming weeks due to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
On Wednesday, 7,415 individuals in L.A. County were hospitalized with the virus and 10,392 new cases were reported, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The Mercy, which is home ported in San Diego, docked in L.A. in March to treat patients requiring non-COVID-related care as hospitals in the area were overwhelmed.
The vessel left in May after treating 77 patients, 36 of whom visited for surgeries.