After coming under criticism for insufficient aid in relieving the novel-coronavirus burden on civilian hospitals, the Pentagon announced Friday it would accept “low acuity” and convalescent COVID-19 patients in the makeshift hospitals it supports. The naval ship USNS Comfort, docked off of Manhattan, will modify its screening procedures portside. No longer will a negative COVID-19 test be a prerequisite for treatment aboard the Comfort, which was deployed to free bed-space at overwhelmed hospitals by taking non-coronavirus patients. “[E]ach patient will still be screened by temperature and a short questionnaire,” the Pentagon said in a statement. Similar admittance for “low acuity” COVID-19 patients will occur at DOD-supported makeshift hospitals in New York, New Orleans, and Dallas.
“This decision was risk-informed and made to ensure that DoD can continue to provide these local communities the type of medical care they most need,” the Pentagon said.