The U.S. Navy recently deployed two hospital ships – the USNS Mercy to Los Angeles and USNS Comfort to New York City – with the intention of treating non-coronavirus infected patients while helping to alleviate the burden of each city’s increasingly overflowing hospitals.
On Saturday, the Navy Times reported “less than five” patients had tested positive for COVID-19 after they were transferred from a medical facility in New York to the Comfort.
The Navy previously confirmed its screening process for boarding the hospital ship — one instituted in accordance to CDC guidance — consists only of a temperature check and “a series of questions addressing [the] member’s recent health and contact history.”
Such procedures have been criticized by many, including a medical professional and spouse of one of the Comfort’s sailors, as being considerably inadequate.
“We know that the traditional symptoms don’t show themselves the same way in the young, healthy population as they do in the older and medically fragile,” said the medical professional, who spoke to Navy Times on the condition of anonymity.
“We also know how dangerous of a breeding ground a ship can be for a highly contagious pathogen. I work for our local hospital and am caring for patients everyday. I have no idea what I’ve been in contact with and have no idea what I’ve shared with my husband, and therefore, have no idea what he might have carried onto that ship.”
Image Credit: U.S. Navy Photo by Eric J. Tilford / Getty
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