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LOS ANGELES – The USNS Mercy arrived in Los Angeles Friday to begin its mission to help support medical facilities as they combat the COVID-19 pandemic.


The hospital ship left its homeport of San Diego Monday afternoon and will stop at the Port of Los Angeles, KGTV reported.

The ship will help treat non-coronavirus patients, allowing hospitals to deal with cases related to the outbreak, U.S. Navy officials said.

More than 800 medical workers will be on the ship to provide critical care and urgent care for adults. Another 70 civil service personnel will also be on board, KNSD reported.

The Mercy is planned to be docked in Los Angeles until Sept. 1.

Originally, the Mercy was believed to be headed to Seattle, Fox News reported last week.

The reason for the change — California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked the president to send the Mercy to Los Angeles.

“Even though there are more cases right now in Washington, the projected need for beds in California is five times more that of Washington,” Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Peter Gaynor told KNSD.

The Navy’s other hospital ship, the USNS Comfort is still scheduled to be deployed to New York City next month. The ship is in for maintenance in Norfolk, but the Navy told CNBC that it will try to expedite the work and prepare for the mission.