LocalNews Briefs

Hospital ship Mercy departs Los Angeles harbor

LOS ANGELES (AP) —A Navy hospital ship that came to the Port of Los Angeles to help the region during the coronavirus crisis departed May 15.

Tugs pulled the Mercy away from its dock shortly after 7 a.m. and the vessel headed south down the coast.

The Mercy arrived at the end of March to provide beds for non-coronavirus cases to take the load off regional medical centers expecting a surge of COVID-19 patients.

“Having successfully decompressed the health care delivery system in the Los Angeles region,” the Mercy will return to its home port in San Diego, said a statement by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Some medical personnel from the ship will remain in the Los Angeles area.

The Mercy, with 1,000 hospital beds and giant red crosses on its sides, was welcomed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as officials predicted hospitals could see a surge of COVID-19 cases.

However, Los Angeles hasn’t been overrun with virus cases, and so the Mercy didn’t play a huge role as a safety net.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and lead to death, and nursing homes have been hit hard.

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