Update #125
COVID-19 Event
December 29, 2020 - 4:30 pm
Happy New Year!
PLEASE Do All the Right Things to Keep Our Community Safe!

ZERO TOLERANCE for New Year's Eve Parties!

Vacation Rental Guests From Multiple Households Will Be EVICTED, Owners / Managers Will Also Be CITED

Currently 39 Active Cases in Big Bear Valley

Southern California Adjusted ICU Availability Remains at 0%

Actual ICU Availability in San Bernardino County at 6.9%

Bear Valley Community Hospital Experiencing Difficulty Transferring Patients Out to Larger Hospitals

Small Business Relief Grants Now Available -
Applications Due by January 8

Additional Big Bear Testing Events Scheduled, Will Accommodate More Individuals
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!
Happy New Year from the City of Big Bear Lake! We are all hopeful that 2021 will be a much better year, and we look forward to emerging safely from the COVID-19 pandemic very soon, and poised for future success!

With COVID-19 cases continuing to increase, and hospital capacity still severely strained, we need EVERYONE to take appropriate health and safety precautions to keep our community safe. It's not asking too much for you to simply do all the right things outlined below:


  • 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,

  • KEEP TO YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD GROUP, and do not mix with other households,

  • 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.


  • follow all recommended safety protocols and requirements for your industry,

  • require ALL employees and patrons to WEAR A FACE COVERING (there is absolutely no excuse!),

  • establish effective physical distancing procedures in your business, and keep your patrons as separated as possible,

  • make it easy for your employees and patrons to exercise good personal hygiene,

  • recognize that your employees', your patrons', and your community's safety depends on the actions you take to keep people safe,

  • recognize that your future ability to stay open depends on the actions you take to keep people safe, and

  • set the right example for your employees and patrons!


  • if you are feeling sick, stay at home and DO NOT VISIT us now,

  • KEEP TO YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD GROUP while you are here,

  • DO NOT plan to party in Big Bear Lake on New Year's Eve, or any other time,

  • 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,

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

  • enjoy the permitted activities in our beautiful community, including skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing, hiking, and more, but otherwise limit your interactions with others in our community,

  • order take-out or delivery from one of our terrific local restaurants, and

  • RESPECT our community - do your part to keep us safe!
In accordance with guidance from public health professionals, the City continues to encourage everyone to limit your interactions to members of your immediate household ONLY during this current COVID-19 spike.

As such, the City has implemented a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for any New Year's Eve parties (or parties at any other time), and will take aggressive action to terminate and punish any reported and observed parties in Big Bear Lake. If you attempt to host a party in Big Bear Lake, you WILL receive a visit from City staff, you WILL receive a visit from San Bernardino County Sheriff deputies, and the party WILL be terminated.

Given the current situation, it's simply not smart to mix various households and threaten the health and safety of everyone in attendance ..... and everyone else they eventually come into contact with afterward. It's not asking too much for you to delay your New Year's celebration to a later date when it's safe to do so.
The City continues to focus its enforcement efforts on vacation rental units that are occupied by multiple households and/or are engaged in unsafe, irresponsible, and disrespectful behavior

The City will not take punitive enforcement action against vacation rentals that abide by the following requirements

a) limit occupancy to members of the same household

b) verify compliance with the same household requirement during an in-person check-in process, 

c) perform cleanings in compliance with recommended COVID-19 cleaning practices

d) do not exceed 2 vehicles at the unit

e) do not host parties or gatherings, and do not generate excessive noise

f) implement contracts that will ensure compliance with these requirements, require the use of face coverings and appropriate physical distancing while out and about in our community, and acknowledge the potential for eviction if these requirements are violated, and 

g) remit all transient occupancy taxes due in a timely manner.

The City will, however, take aggressive enforcement action against vacation rental guests and vacation rental owners / managers that do not adhere to these requirements. Vacation rental guests that violate these requirements WILL BE EVICTED, as the City will not tolerate the mixing of households in our vacation rentals. Additionally, owners / managers of vacation rental units that do not effectively screen and monitor guests and ensure that they comply with these requirements WILL BE CITED AND FINED - ranging from $250 to $1,000. This penalty is in addition to the eviction of the vacation rental guests.

The City has deliberately implemented a very reasonable enforcement approach with regard to vacation rentals at this time, and absolutely expects COOPERATION from all vacation rental guests, owners, and managers. Thank you for your diligent efforts.
According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have now been a cumulative total of 631 confirmed COVID-19 cases since mid-March. Of this total, there have been 220 cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, 344 cases in Big Bear City, 60 cases in Sugarloaf, and 7 cases in Fawnskin.
The City receives Big Bear-specific information from San Bernardino County contact tracers. The most recent report indicates that 592 individuals have recovered, and that there are currently a total of 39 active cases. Sadly, there has been 1 confirmed death attributed to COVID-19 in Big Bear.

With an estimated population of 18,941 people in the Big Bear Valley, and 39 currently active cases, approximately 1 in every 486 residents in our community are currently infected. 

Since the COVID-19 event began in mid-March, approximately 3.3% of the total population in the Big Bear Valley has contracted COVID-19. Overall, approximately 5.9% of the total population of the United States has contracted COVID-19, and approximately 5.5% of the total population of California has contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began earlier this year.
The State continues to report "adjusted" ICU availability of 0% in the Southern California Region, and these adjusted numbers have been at 0% since December 16. Because this metric remains at 0%, and is not forecast to improve in the near future, the State has extended its current restrictions for the Southern California region for at least another week, and likely longer.
The State applies an adjustment factor to the actual ICU availability in each region that is a function of the percentage of ICU patients receiving care for COVID-19 compared to ICU patients receiving care for other ailments. This adjustment factor is applied when more than 30% of ICU patients are receiving care for COVID-19, and has had the effect of pushing the overall "adjusted ICU availability" down to 0% in the Southern California region over the past two weeks.

As of December 28, the actual ICU availability in San Bernardino County hospitals is 6.9%, which means there are still a limited number of staffed adult ICU beds available. As of December 28, the State is reporting a total of 53 adult ICU beds available in San Bernardino County.
Due to crowded hospital conditions all over Southern California, it has become increasingly difficult for Bear Valley Community Hospital to transfer patients that need a higher level of care out to larger hospitals in our region. As a result, Bear Valley Community Hospital is now admitting and treating a limited number of COVID-19 patients here locally.

Hospital, County, and City officials continue to be concerned about the decreasing capacity in County hospitals. Now more than ever, we need EVERYONE to do your part to be safe, take all appropriate precautions, and help ensure that adequate hospital capacity is available for those in need. It may be you, your family member, your friend, or your neighbor that is in need - perhaps for a COVID-19 case or any other serious illness or injury.
The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant will begin accepting applications on December 30, and information about the program and application process can be accessed here. A total of $475 million will be available to California small businesses, and the first round will distribute $237.5 million. Applications for the first round are due on January 8.

The program will provide grant amounts ranging from $5,000 - $25,000, based on annual revenue. Grant awards will be made based on a weighted lottery, with priority given to the most impacted communities, industry sectors, and disadvantaged businesses. For a complete overview of grant program requirements, please click here.
The City continues to partner with San Bernardino County, and has scheduled four new testing events at City Hall:

  • Thursday, January 21

  • Thursday, January 28

  • Tuesday, February 9

  • Tuesday, February 23.

Each of these testing events will be expanded to 6 hours, and will operate from 9 am to 3 pm. The expanded testing hours will enable us to conduct approximately 500 tests each day.

Appointments are recommended, and the appointment portal is expected to open a few days prior to each testing event. Information about all County testing sites is available here, and Big Bear appointments can be made at the same website.
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