Monday, December 11, 2023

Coronavirus aid: Hear from a Hampton sailor aboard the USNS Comfort

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Brittany Berkley, patient transport shift team leader, explains patient transfer protocol from the pier to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20).

Comfort cares for trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. Comfort is working with Javits New York Medical Station as an integrated system to relieve the New York City medical system, in support of U.S. Northern Command’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities as a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed hospital ship was rushed back into service to aid New York City which is now the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak. It deployed from Naval Station Norfolk.

The Navy said Comfort comes with an array of medical equipment and services, including digital radiology, medical and optometry labs, a pharmacy, a CAT scanner and two oxygen-producing plants. (Story continues below the video)

Comfort is now admitting coronavirus patients.

The Navy had to reconfigure the ship as defense officials had said that the Comfort was not designed to treat patients with infectious diseases.

(Video credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman)


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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