Long Island party rental companies see surge in request for tents for Thanksgiving

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Party rental companies on Long Island are receiving a record amount of inquiries this fall from people looking to rent tents for Thanksgiving.

"I would say we get anywhere from 10 to 24 calls a week on people asking, can you bring a setup to my house?" said Mike Iadanza with Encore Rentals, based in Bohemia.

Iadanza said while phone calls for tent rentals usually drop off after Labor Day, this fall they have increased significantly. He said the weekly increase in calls also includes people inquiring about outdoor gatherings for Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Iadanza said he advises people they should only allow one-third of the amount of people under the tent based upon the tent's capacity. So a 40-person tent, for example, should only fit 13 to 14 people.

"You still really need to social distance whether you're outside or not that doesn't really make a difference," Iadanza said he tells customers.

Lori Pannullo, the owner of Camelot Party Rentals in Medford, said she is also getting calls from people inquiring about tents for Thanksgiving.

"We've actually been suggesting smaller tables to seat families, households, people who socialize together," she said.

Pannullo said she also recommends to customers they leave two sides of the tent open for air flow.

Dr. Sanjey Gupta, Chairperson of Emergency Medicine at South Shore University Hospital, said dining in a tent is considered a moderate risk by the Centers for Disease Control, but people have to be smart about it.

"If you think you're going to get a 10-by-10 tent and stick 20 people in, that's probably a really risky activity for transmission," he said.

Gupta said people should limit the number of guests in a tent and should leave the flaps of the tent open for airflow. He said heat lamps are safe.

Gupta said the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving, and the way the CDC recommends, is to dine only with people in your household.

He said if people invite guests, people should wear masks and maintain social distancing.

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