Update #119
COVID-19 Event
December 4, 2020 - 12 noon
Big Bear Not Yet Subject to Governor's New Order, But May Be Soon

IF / WHEN New Order is Effective in Big Bear, Our Community Needs to Embrace the Order and Comply

How the Governor's New Order Would Apply in Big Bear

Currently 37 Active COVID-19 Cases

San Bernardino County COVID-19 Hospitalizations Continue to Increase

PLEASE Take All Steps to Keep Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community SAFE

Next City Testing Event Set for December 15
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 weekly on Tuesdays, and also as otherwise warranted 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!
The Governor's new regional order applies to 5 different regions in California, and becomes effective when the ICU (intensive care unit) availability within the region dips below 15% of the total ICU beds in the entire region. Big Bear, and all of San Bernardino County, is included in the Southern California Region, which includes 11 counties.

The ICU availability metric is applied across the entire 11-county region. As of yesterday (December 3), the ICU availability in the Southern California Region was 20.6%. We remain hopeful that the Southern California region will not hit the 15% trigger, however, State and County officials believe that will happen within the next few days or week. IF / WHEN we hit that trigger, the new restrictions in the Governor's new regional order will be effective in all 11 counties the very next day (24 hours later).

IF / WHEN the Governor's new order becomes effective, it will be in place for at least 3 weeks, and perhaps longer.
The City's position throughout the COVID-19 event has been that local case numbers and County hospitalization data are the most important data to inform the City's response. For most of the COVID-19 event, Big Bear has been fortunate to experience a relatively ow incidence of COVID-19, and San Bernardino County hospitals have maintained adequate capacity since the event began in mid-March. That is not the case now, as Big Bear has experienced similar case levels as the rest of California in recent weeks, and the San Bernardino County hospital system is now at risk of being overwhelmed.

As such, the entire Big Bear community should embrace the Governor's new regional order and fully comply with all aspects IF / WHEN it becomes effective in Big Bear. The City expects EVERYONE in our community to be diligent and do your part to help discourage further spread and prevent our County hospital system from being overwhelmed.
The Governor's new order builds on previous State orders, and it can be difficult to determine exactly how it applies in Big Bear. IF / WHEN the new order becomes effective, the following restrictions will be implemented in our community:

  • interacting with others who are not part of your immediate household is prohibited, unless you are participating in the permitted activities outlined in the Governor's new order (and indicated below), AND implement appropriate face covering, physical distancing, and personal hygiene practices,

  • individuals are not prohibited from moving around the community, as long as they are traveling to or from or participating in the permitted activities outlined below,

  • outdoor recreational activities are permitted, including skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snow tubing, hiking, running, biking, walking, and visiting the lakeshore and other parks,

  • Big Bear Mountain Resorts and other commercial snow play areas may operate,

  • all retail stores may remain open, but are limited to 20% capacity (including grocery stores) and must have an employee stationed at the entrance to ensure that entry is limited,

  • restaurants may operate for take-out and delivery only,

  • hair, beauty, and nail salons, and other personal care services must close,

  • the bowling alley, other indoor entertainment centers, and bars / nightclubs must close,

  • churches and other places of worship are limited to outdoor or online worship only,

  • the zoo must close,

  • traditional hotels and lodging facilities may only operate if housing essential workers,

  • vacation rentals may be occupied, but only by members of the same immediate household,

  • second homes may be occupied, but only by members of the same immediate household,

  • any visitors originating from outside California, and not traveling for essential business purposes, must quarantine for 14 days,

  • California residents are advised to limit travel within the State, and within 2 - 3 hours of home, and only with your immediate household.

The City remains hopeful that these restrictions will not be implemented in Big Bear Lake, however, it is likely that they will be implemented at some time soon. The City encourages EVERYONE to embrace these restrictions and comply IF / WHEN they are implemented - to discourage the spread and to maintain adequate capacity in our County hospitals. The person in need of an ICU bed may ultimately be you, your family, or a close friend, and it's imperative that our County maintains adequate capacity to treat those in need.
According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have now been a cumulative total of 380 confirmed COVID-19 cases since mid-March. Of this total, there have been 142 cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, 196 cases in Big Bear City, 36 cases in Sugarloaf, and 6 cases in Fawnskin.

The City receives Big Bear Valley-specific information from San Bernardino County contact tracers. According to the latest report, 343 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and there are currently 37 active cases in the Big Bear Valley. Sadly, there has been 1 death attributed to COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.

With an estimated population of 18,941 people in the Big Bear Valley, and 37 currently active cases, approximately 1 in every 512 residents in our community are currently infected.
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 964 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. According to the latest data, there are now a total of 208 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. This number continues to increase, is the most significant concern of the State, County, and City, and is the primary reason for the Governor's new order. There are now a total of 64 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County, and this is the lowest availability since the COVID-19 event began in mid-March.
Now more than ever, it is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL for EVERYONE to do everything you can to keep yourself, your family, and your community SAFE!

PLEASE do your part, for all of us:

  • if you are feeling sick, stay at home, isolate yourself from everyone, and get tested as soon as possible,

  • if you are especially vulnerable or fearful of becoming sick, please take appropriate precautions for your circumstances, including staying at home,

  • WEAR A FACE COVERING whenever you are indoors at a local business, and also if you are within 6 feet of others in an outdoor setting,

  • maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others whenever possible, and

  • practice good personal hygiene - wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.

All of these steps are EASY and are simply COMMON-SENSE! There's really no excuse for anyone to not take the precautions indicated above, and your diligence may make the difference for others!
The City and County continue to partner to offer Big Bear testing events, and the next testing event is scheduled for Tuesday, December 15 at City Hall. The appointment portal is expected to be open a few days prior to December 15, and can be accessed by clicking here.

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.

Due to the inability of Abbott Laboratories to deliver COVID-19 test kits and a testing device, as promised in August, the City has terminated its agreement with Bear Mountain Family Medicine Urgent Care for rapid testing. Both the City and Bear Mountain Family Medicine Urgent Care are extremely disappointed in Abbott Laboratories, however, testing availability has expanded significantly in the Big Bear Valley since August. Anyone in need of a COVID-19 test should be able to secure a test at any number of locations, both in the Big Bear Valley and elsewhere. Many private doctors have access to testing, and Bear Valley Community Hospital continues to provide regular testing. Local testing is also available at CVS on Big Bear Boulevard.
Stay Informed!
Sign up for City of BBL Updates,
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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:
  • Visit our website by clicking here

  • "Like" us on Facebook - City of Big Bear Lake
  • Follow us on Twitter - @CityofBBL
  • Follow us on Instagram - @citybigbearlake
  • Sign up for text message alerts by clicking here .
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