A total of seven crew members aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy have now tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed late Monday. All seven patients have now been taken off the ship and isolated while an additional 120 crew members, who were considered close contacts of those who tested positive but have themselves tested negative, have been quarantined off-ship, Navy spokesperson John Fage said. The Mercy, which has 800 staff and continues to function as normal, docked at the Port of Los Angeles in late March to serve as a hospital for non-coronavirus patients, and to help ease the burden on Los Angeles-area hospitals. Its partner ship, the USNS Comfort, has also been stricken with coronavirus among its staff for its deployment to New York for the crisis. This month a train operator tried to attack the Mercy with a locomotive after deliberately derailing it, fearing it was part of a government takeover.
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