In the final days of the crazy month of March, the USNS Mercy pulling into a Los Angeles port to give relief to overburdened workers and facilities. Among the crew of the naval ship is Twin Falls resident, Corpsman 3rd Class Mallori Templeton. We received a photo of her getting the ship ready for the upcoming work they'll be doing during their stay in the LA port.

The USNS Mercy will be assisting with non-COVID-19 patients to allow hospitals on land to focus on those with the coronavirus. The Navy explained the purpose of the ship on Sunday stating:

The ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults. This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.

Mercy is staffed with a crew from 22 command units and more than 70 civil service mariners. During the first week of service in the area, the Mercy has only served 15 patients. That number will no doubt increase over the next few weeks as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread. The Mercy is able to accommodate 1,000 hospital beds when needed.

The Comfort is another Naval ship docked in New York since Monday and has only served five patients in that time according to the Navy Times. Neither ship is accepting walk-in patients, only doctor referrals. Once admitted to the ship there is no fee for the medical care received.

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