The first three patients arrived Sunday on the USNS Mercy, a Navy hospital ship at the Port of Los Angeles sent by the Department of Defense to free up local hospitals that are taking in coronavirus patients.

Information on what ailments the three patients were suffering from or what cities they came from was not available. These patients do not have coronavirus.

They were transported on board with help from Camp Pendleton Marines presently providing security to the ship.

The massive, 894-foot vessel arrived at the port on Friday, March 27, as hospitals in the area deal with an increasing number of coronavirus cases. The ship is docked at the cruise terminal, near Harbor Boulevard and Swinford Street — just south of the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our crew for all the hard work they did to get us here and ready in such a short time,” Capt. John Rotruck, Mercy’s Military Treatment Facility commanding officer said in a statement on Sunday, March 29. “Being able to accept our first patients is a true testament of the teamwork between Mercy, the Navy, the State of California, the county of Los Angeles, and the city and Port of L.A.”

On Sunday, Los Angeles officials reported five more coronavirus deaths, bringing the total number to 37. There are 2,100 confirmed cases.

Barbara Ferrer, the public health director in Los Angeles, reminded the public to adhere to social distancing.

“I ask that everyone please do your part to not infect others or become infected yourself,” she said.



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