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Valley party rental business repurposing tents for coronavirus medical sites

0324 bright party rental

The county is gearing up for the arrival of federal help for coronavirus patients. One of the first two federal medical stations in the state is coming to the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio Wednesday.

The national guard will help set up this so-called "hospital in a box," which is aimed at helping to ease the burden of a medical surge that health officials say is imminent.

Already, the Coachella Valley has the highest concentration of infected people in the county.

The station brings 250 beds and medical supplies, including 740 complete units of personal protective gear like masks, gloves, gowns and face shields.

Scott Karroll, general manager for Bright Event Rentals here in the valley, has been offering his equipment and resources to medical sites, including the federal medical station.

"We're available 24/7, any day of the week, any time to quickly mobilize," Karoll said.

Bright's tents are already in use at a screening center at Desert Oasis Healthcare in Palm Springs, as well as the drive-thru at Southwest Church in Indian Wells, where testing has ramped up from 30 tests per day to nearly 150.

Like many businesses right now, Bright is being hit hard by coronavirus impacts. 55 of their 60 employees are furloughed at home.

"These would have been the busiest weekends of the season," Karoll said. "Hugely busy, tons of events going on."

He said it was a natural transition to aiding the fight against coronavirus.

"At this time, we're passionate about being able to support the medical providers in the Coachella Valley to give them the resources that they need to be able to do what they do best," Karoll said.

Hospitals will move stable, less severe patients to these federal medical stations, of which there are expected to be eight in the state. This allows more beds in existing hospitals for patients requiring more critical care.

The National Guard is expected to arrive to the fairgrounds in Indio at 10:30 Wednesday morning.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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