Update #112
COVID-19 Emergency
October 20, 2020 - 6:00 pm
New City COVID-19 Updates Now Issued Once Per Week

Currently 5 Active COVID-19 Cases in Big Bear Valley

No Significant Change in County Hospitalizations

Help Big Bear Avoid the Predicted Next Wave -
Maintain Physical Distance, Wash Your Hands, and Wear a Mask!

Total of 206 Tests Administered at City Hall Today

San Bernardino County Remains in Purple Tier

City Council Approves Resolution Seeking Recognition of Sub-Regions Within San Bernardino County

Personal Care Services Now Permitted to Operate

Halloween in The Village Cancelled

No Rescheduled July 4 Fireworks
The City of Big Bear Lake continues to work hard to ensure that the residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and visitors in our community have the correct information about the status of COVID-19 in Big Bear Lake and the City's response to the COVID-19 event.

This email newsletter is the official guidance from the City of Big Bear Lake, and the City appreciates everyone's adherence to the guidance outlined herein. This email newsletter also serves as the City's official press release regarding the City's COVID-19 response, and press inquiries may be directed to City Manager Frank Rush at 909-866-5832 or via email.
The City issues these COVID-19 updates periodically as significant or new information emerges. To be sure you are receiving the latest and most accurate information, please sign up for this email newsletter by clicking here . PLEASE share this email newsletter with anyone and everyone, as we want to reach as many people as possible with this information. Thank you!
Unless there are significant new developments to report, the City will now issue COVID-19 updates once per week in the future. New City COVID-19 updates will now be issued every Tuesday, and also as otherwise warranted.
According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have now been a cumulative total of 137 confirmed COVID-19 cases since mid-March. Of this total, there have been 63 cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, 58 cases in Big Bear City, 13 cases in Sugarloaf, and 3 cases in Fawnskin.

The City receives Big Bear Valley-specific information from San Bernardino County contact tracers. According to the latest report, 132 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and there are currently 5 active cases in the Big Bear Valley. Thankfully, there have been no deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.

There have been 6 new cases reported for the Big Bear Valley over the past week, and 10 new cases over the past 2 weeks. Overall, the Big Bear Valley continues to be fortunate to experience a low incidence of COVID-19.
Because any COVID-19 patients from the Big Bear Valley would likely be treated by other, larger hospitals in San Bernardino County, City officials continue to closely monitor hospitalization data in the entire County.

According to the latest data, there are currently 231 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. This number has remained relatively constant over the past week.

According to the latest data, there are now a total of 47 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and this number has remained relatively constant over the past several weeks. There are now a total of 162 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County.

Thankfully, the County's health care system has maintained sufficient capacity throughout the COVID-19 emergency.
Many parts of the United States are currently experiencing an increase in new cases and hospitalizations, and public health officials predict increasing numbers as colder temperatures arrive in many places.

Thankfully, thus far the Big Bear Valley has not experienced a significant increase in new cases, and we attribute our relatively low incidence of COVID-19 to our outdoor lifestyle and the diligent efforts of our residents, businesses, and visitors. We need EVERYONE to double-down on the common-sense strategies to keep our community safe and keep our businesses open (and expand reopenings):

  • maintain physical distance whenever possible, and limit interactions with other groups and individuals to the maximum extent practical,

  • wash your hands frequently, and use hand sanitizer whenever possible, and

  • wear a mask whenever you enter a business, or if you are in close proximity to others in an outdoor setting.

These common-sense strategies are the most effective strategies in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and can help keep our residents safe and our businesses open if we all continue to be diligent. These three strategies don't require much effort, and it's the least we can all do to help us get through this!
The City and County again partnered on a Big Bear testing event earlier today, and a total of 206 COVID-19 tests were administered at City Hall. We expect to receive aggregate results for this testing event later this week, and will report the results in next week's COVID-19 update. A total of 129 individuals also received free flu vaccines at City Hall today.

San Bernardino County continues to offer free COVID-19 testing at numerous locations off the mountain, and a complete list of testing sites and dates is available here. The City and the County encourage EVERYONE to get tested, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms, and to get tested REPEATEDLY. Frequent testing enables infected individuals without symptoms to avoid others sooner, helping to keep everyone safe. More testing by everyone in San Bernardino County will also help the County meet the reopening criteria outlined by the State, and will help us move to the "Red Tier" sooner and allow more indoor business activities.

The City and Bear Mountain Family Medicine Urgent Care continue to wait for the delivery of COVID-19 test kits, working in partnership to provide daily testing and nearly immediate results. This testing will begin as soon as the test kits are received, and additional information will be included in future City COVID-19 updates.

The City and County expect to continue to partner on future Big Bear testing events, and are tentatively targeting Tuesday, November 17 for the next testing event. Additional details will be announced as this date approaches.
New tier designations were released today, and, unfortunately, San Bernardino County remains in the "Purple Tier". San Bernardino County is one of only 12 (out of 58) counties in California in the most restrictive tier in the State's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy".

San Bernardino County currently meets the State's criteria to move to the "Red Tier" for positive test rates and is very close to meeting health equity criteria, however, the 7-day new case rate continues to exceed the threshold to move to the "Red Tier". County officials are working very hard to meet the State's criteria for our entire County, and the numbers are slowly starting to trend in the right direction. Unfortunately for San Bernardino County, and the Big Bear Valley, we are likely to remain in the "Purple Tier" for at least the next few weeks, and likely longer.
According to the State's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" (the color-coded tier structure), San Bernardino County is expected to remain in the “Purple Tier” for at least the next few weeks, and likely longer, with significant restrictions on our businesses remaining in effect. With colder temperatures arriving, these restrictions are very problematic for our businesses, and pose a significant threat to the economic well-being of our community.

At its meeting on October 12, the City Council approved a resolution formally requesting that the State of California recognize the unique geography of San Bernardino County, the varying COVID-19 experiences in the communities within San Bernardino County, and the need for businesses to operate at greater capacity in smaller, more isolated communities with a relatively low incidence of COVID-19, and therefore designate sub-regions of San Bernardino County for the purpose of determining tier designations under the State’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy”.

San Bernardino County has a compelling case for the State to establish sub-regions within our county. San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States in terms of land area, is nearly twice the size of the second largest county in California (Inyo County), and is many, many times larger than every other county in California – including 86 times larger than San Francisco County (the smallest county). Additionally, San Bernardino County is a geographically diverse county, with large suburban communities in the Los Angeles metro area, smaller mountain communities at high elevation and considerable distance from other populated areas, and isolated desert communities located several hours from other more densely populated communities in the county. Thankfully, the Big Bear Valley has been fortunate to experience relatively low incidences of COVID-19 for the duration of this event. The higher incidences of COVID-19 in more densely populated areas of San Bernardino County are preventing many of the smaller, more isolated communities in the county with relatively low incidences of COVID-19 from advancing to less restrictive tiers under the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy”, thereby causing significant economic harm in these communities with no significant public health benefits for these communities.

The City, the County, and others continue to push for the designation of sub-regions within San Bernardino County. Based on the most recent data, it is likely that the Big Bear Valley would qualify for the “Orange Tier” (reflecting moderate risk) and perhaps the “Yellow Tier” (reflecting minimal risk), which would allow nearly all businesses in the Big Bear Valley to operate indoors in some reasonable manner.

The City remains hopeful that the State will adjust its position in the near future.
The State has issued new guidance for “expanded personal care services” that will allow businesses in these industries to open in the Big Bear Valley, San Bernardino County, and throughout California.
The new guidance focuses on personal care services that require touching a client’s face, including facials, electrolysis, and waxing. It applies to esthetic, skin care, electrology, body art professionals, tattoo studios, piercing shops, and massage therapy businesses (in non-healthcare settings). All businesses in this category are required to follow the modifications included in the new guidance.
After careful consideration, including the review of two modified formats, the City Council took action at its October 12 meeting to cancel the annual Halloween in The Village event due to COVID-19.

Trick-or-treating will be permitted in Big Bear Lake neighborhoods on Saturday, October 31, and everyone is encouraged to do so safely. San Bernardino County has published guidelines for celebrating Halloween, which can be accessed here.
After carefully reviewing a proposal to produce a special July 4 fireworks show on November 11, the City Council took action at its October 12 meeting to again postpone the fireworks show. Depending on COVID-19 circumstances at the time, the fireworks show will likely be rescheduled for Memorial Day weekend 2021.
Stay Informed!
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The City of Big Bear Lake strives to keep our residents, property owners, investors, businesses, and visitors well-informed about the City's issues and initiatives - including the COVID-19 event - with an emphasis on information specific to Big Bear Lake and the entire Big Bear Valley.
The easiest way to stay-informed is to sign up for the City's email newsletter and other updates. It's easy to sign up - simply visit the City's website and click on "Text & Email Notifications" in the top center of the homepage. Simply click on the link, enter your name and email address, and you're all set. Signing up will ensure that you receive periodic updates about COVID-19 in Big Bear Lake, the City's new monthly newsletter - Elevation 6752', and other special communications from the City of Big Bear Lake for emergency situations, special events, and more.
In addition to the City's email updates, you can also get the latest information from the City of Big Bear Lake via the following digital platforms:
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Please help us spread the word, and share the City's digital communications platforms with your family, friends, other residents, property owners, frequent visitors, or anyone else who is interested in Big Bear Lake. Thank you!
Frank A. Rush, Jr., City Manager
City of Big Bear Lake
39707 Big Bear Blvd. PO Box 10000, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Phone: (909) 866-5831 | Fax: (909) 866-5491