May 4th 2020

The Navy hospital ship USNS COMFORT has left New York.

COMFORT will return to Norfolk, Va., for resupply and its regular post-deployment procedures.

The Pentagon has said it will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to select another coastal city for future deployment.

COMFORT, with MM&P licensed deck officers on board, had been moored at Manhattan’s Pier 90 since March 30.

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that the region was grateful for the support of the Navy’s hospital ship, but no longer needs the extra assistance.

COMFORT was initially intended to serve as a hospital for non-Covid-19 patients only.

Under the protocol established before her arrival, potential patients had to be taken to a shoreside hospital, evaluated, tested for Covid-19, determined to be virus-free and then transported to the ship.

Such restrictions on admission greatly limited the number of patients who were treated on board.

Ultimately, the vessel was assigned to accept some Covid-19 patients as well, and the Pentagon redeployed some of COMFORT’s medical personnel to shoreside hospitals, where they have provided relief for civilian medical staff.