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Carnival Offers Cruise Ships As Temporary Hospitals

Cruise Ship, trees in front
Bill Bortzfield
/
WJCT News
The Ecstasy Cruise Ship docked at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal

Carnival Corporation, which home ports the Ecstasy in Jacksonville at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal, is offering displaced cruise ships to different communities as temporary hospitals for non COVID-19 patients. 

In a release published Thursday, Carnival said this is to relieve pressure from hospitals surpassing capacity, which can lead to a shortage of hospital beds. 

“As part of the offer, interested parties will be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port,” the release said. 

Carnival said the cruise ships can provide up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat “less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions,” as well as up to seven intensive care units in the ship’s medical center. 

The ships would install proper medical equipment that can connect to the ship’s internet network to monitor cardiac, respiratory, and oxygen equipment. 

The ship’s crew would operate food and beverage, cleaning services and ship operations, but the government would provide the medical personnel to take care of patients.

Carnival has not said whether the Jacksonville ship might be pressed into service either here or somewhere else as a temporary hospital at some point.

But if it were to ever be used, it has a rated guest capacity of 2,056. 

The Carnival Ecstasy normally sails out of Jacksonville to the Bahamas. 

WJCT News has reached out to the Carnival Corporation with a request for more information. If a response is received, this story will be updated.

Read more from WJCT News: Local, State And National Coronavirus Coverage

Sky Lebron can be reached at slebron@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @SkylerLebron.