The U.S. Navy has deployed the hospital ship USNS Mercy to the Port of Los Angeles to support regional hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It departed Monday, March 23 from Naval Base San Diego.

The ship won’t be used for treating COVID-19 cases, instead taking other patients to ease the pressure on local hospitals, which local officials said were already nearing capacity.

“Mercy brings a team of medical professionals, medical equipment, and supplies, all of which will act, in essence, as a ‘relief valve’ for local civilian hospitals in Los Angeles so that local health professionals can better focus on COVID-19 cases,” said Capt. John Rotruck, Mercy’s Military Treatment Facility (MTF) commanding officer. “We will use our agility and responsiveness as an afloat medical treatment facility to do what the country asks, and bring relief where we are needed most.”

The Mercy has 1,000 hospital beds and over 800 Navy medical personnel and support staff and over 70 civil service mariners aboard, Navy officials stated.

It will provide a “full spectrum of medical care,” including general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults.