USNS Comfort Crewmember Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The USNS Comfort arrived in New York City last week to provide emergency relief in what has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. The ship arrived at Pier 90 in Manhattan and was welcomed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday, March 6.

Unfortunately, one of the crew members onboard the ship has tested positive for COVID-19. The good news is that person is not believed to have come in contact with anyone else on the ship.

“There is no impact to Comfort’s mission, and this will not affect the ability for Comfort to receive patients,” according to the Navy statement, via ABC News. “The ship is following protocols and taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all crew members and patients on board.”

President Donald Trump granted Governor Andrew Cuomo’s request to allow the ship to treat coronavirus patients this week.

The USNS Comfort contains 1,000 beds, about 1,100 medical staff, a dozen operating rooms, a medical laboratory, pharmacy, oxygen producing plants, and much more that will assist New York and its overcrowded hospitals during the pandemic.

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 9,600 deaths in the United States which surpasses and nearly triples the death toll of the September 11 terrorist in New York City — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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