Update #120
COVID-19 Event
December 6, 2020 - 12 noon
Big Bear Subject to Governor's New Order, Effective Tomorrow

Let's Get This Over With!
Big Bear Needs to Embrace the Order and Comply

How the Governor's New Order Applies in Big Bear

Respect Each Other's Fears and Opinions

City Hall Open for Business Electronically and By Appointment Only

Big Bear Cases Continue to Increase

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 ICU availability in Southern California dipped to 12.5% last night, thus triggering the Governor's new regional order in San Bernardino County and Big Bear. Practically speaking, this means that all individuals and businesses in Big Bear must comply with the new order by tomorrow morning. (Technically, the order goes into effect at 11:59 pm tonight.)

The Governor's new order 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 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. If everyone in Southern California does their part, we can get this over with right after Christmas. With vaccines set for initial distribution in the next few weeks, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and after a long and painful 2020 we need to begin 2021 on an optimistic and hopeful note!

Throughout the COVID-19 event, the City has purposely and deliberately worked to achieve the right balance among  a) keeping our community safe,  b) promoting the success of our local businesses,  
c) maintaining community cohesion in an especially divisive and challenging time, and  
d) enabling our community to eventually emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic poised for future success. This balance has adjusted in a subtle manner from time to time based on the actual COVID-19 experience in Big Bear and San Bernardino County, and is shifting again - appropriately toward more precautions to keep our community safe and ensure adequate hospital capacity.

The City encourages EVERYONE to embrace these restrictions and comply - 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 member, or a close friend, and it's imperative that our County maintains adequate capacity to treat those in need.
The Governor's new order builds on previous State orders, and it can be difficult to determine exactly how it applies in Big Bear. The City has worked hard throughout the COVID-19 event to explain how the various restrictions apply in OUR community, and the latest restrictions mean the following for Big Bear:

  • 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 you 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.

These new restrictions are effective in Big Bear tomorrow morning, December 7. Please be responsible, and do your part!
Every aspect of the COVID-19 event has been difficult for EVERYONE! Please be reminded that YOU are not the only person impacted by these challenging times, and EVERYONE is struggling in some way.

With the latest restrictions taking effect tomorrow, tensions are likely to escalate even more, particularly given the long road we've all travelled together this year and with the holidays approaching. As you think about your own situation, please put yourself in the shoes of others:

  • consider the elderly person or individual with a compromised immune system who is truly fearful for their health and safety,

  • consider the struggles of those who have a family member in the hospital or have lost someone they cared about deeply,

  • consider the fatigue of all of those in health care working tirelessly to help others,

  • consider the business owner worried about losing everything he or she has worked their entire life to build,

  • consider the individual dependent on his / her job to feed their family, pay the mortgage or rent, and keep the heat on,

  • consider the mental health impacts of the disease, the restrictions, and the isolation, and how your family and friends may be struggling deep inside without showing it to anyone else,

  • consider those second home owners spending more time in our community, who care deeply about our community and are simply seeking the same things we're all seeking in Big Bear,

  • consider those respectful visitors who are simply seeking to spend time in our community and get through this mess in the same way we're all trying to get through it,

  • consider all of the elected leaders, and Federal, State, and local employees working many long hours to address something no one has ever experienced in any of our lifetimes, and

  • most importantly, BE THANKFUL for what you do have, and your ability to control your own destiny by taking appropriate precautions for your personal situation.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, and despite the new darkness for the next few weeks, that light will get brighter. The light will always overcome the darkness!
City staff have been and continue to work hard to provide essential local government services during the COVID-19 event. In light of evolving circumstances and the new restrictions, City Hall remains open but business may only be conducted with City staff via telephone (909-866-5831), email, video conferencing, or by appointment only.

Please contact the main telephone number (909-866-5831) or the appropriate City department to make arrangements to conduct business. We will do our very best to serve you in a safe, efficient, and helpful manner.
According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have now been a cumulative total of 402 confirmed COVID-19 cases since mid-March. Of this total, there have been 151 cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, 205 cases in Big Bear City, 40 cases in Sugarloaf, and 6 cases in Fawnskin.

The City receives Big Bear Valley-specific information from San Bernardino County contact tracers, but has not received an updated report this weekend. Data on the number of active cases will be included in the next City update this week.
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 1,036 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. According to the latest data, there are now a total of 230 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 72 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County, and County officials are hard at work to maximize the number of intensive care beds available.
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!
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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