NYC coronavirus outbreak assisted by naval hospital ship's extra beds

The US Navy Ship Comfort, which has 250 beds, will be coming to New York City Harbor in April

As the coronavirus continues to spread in New York City and hospital beds fill up, one solution is reportedly on its way -- heading to the harbor.

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On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said President Trump will be “making arrangements” to deploy the Navy hospital ship Comfort to New York Harbor.

“It’s an extraordinary step, obviously, but it will -- it’s literally a floating hospital, which will add capacity and the president said that he would dispatch that immediately,” Cuomo said.

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The Comfort has about 1,000 hospital rooms, Cuomo said.

It also has 12 fully equipped operating rooms and is expected to arrive in New York Harbor in  April, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

The hospital ship USNS Comfort in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kris R. Lindstrom/Released)

According to the U.S. Navy, the ship has 250 hospital beds and a medical team of 550 people, including various doctors such as trauma surgeons and eye surgeons. CNBC reported the ship was formerly an oil tanker.

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The ship will offer short-term care and could give beds to non-coronavirus patients, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In the past, the Comfort has gone to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

According to the Journal, the Comfort is in Norfolk, Virginia -- its home base -- at the moment.

New York Harbor, at the mouth of the Hudson River, is the largest oil port and the third-largest container port in the U.S., according to DockNYC.

The Navy has another hospital ship called the Mercy, which could be deployed to a highly impacted area on the West Coast. The Journal reported that the ship is at port in San Diego.

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During his briefing on Wednesday, Cuomo also said he spoke with Trump about other ways to add to the hospital bed capacity in New York -- specifically deploying mobile hospitals from the federal government.

The mobile hospitals would have a capacity between 200 and 250 people, he said.

“I told the president that we would do everything we need to do to expedite siting of those facilities and we’re talking about a couple of locations now,” Cuomo said during the briefing. “But that is also specific and concrete help and something that we can get done within the 45 days.”

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