Update #16
COVID-19 Emergency
March 29, 2020 - 3 pm
Frequently Expressed Concerns - Directly Addressed Here

We Will Get Through This -
Be Diligent, Take It One Day At a Time, and Be Thankful!

Summary of Restrictions and Recommendations
The City of Big Bear Lake is working 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 threats in Big Bear Lake and the City's response to these threats. This email newsletter is the official guidance from the City of Big Bear Lake, and the City appreciates everyone's adherence to the restrictions and recommendations outlined herein.
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!
During times of crisis, in every community, and particularly in the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, there are often many different comments, ideas, and opinions expressed about what's occurring or what should be occurring in the community. All of this is completely understandable, but sometimes the information may not be correct, there may be misperceptions or important nuances, or additional details that continue to emerge. Sometimes, timing makes all the difference, and, as we all know, the COVID-19 emergency is constantly evolving.

The City's updates are provided regularly to ensure that our residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and visitors of Big Bear Lake have the most up-to-date and correct information about COVID-19 issues here in Big Bear Lake. To further this goal, we thought it would be helpful to share some of the most frequently expressed concerns relative to Big Bear Lake, and present a direct response to these concerns:

  • "There are no test kits in Big Bear Lake" - Bear Valley Community Hospital has maintained a limited supply of test kits since the COVID-19 emergency escalated nationally in mid-March, and has administered several tests. Due to the limited number of test kits everywhere, the tests are only administered for patients with the most significant COVID-19 symptoms. Given the limited supply of tests, it's simply not in anyone's best interest to administer tests to everyone who may want a test. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please call your doctor or the hospital to be screened, and if you meet the criteria they will arrange for testing for you.
  • "When are we going to get testing in Big Bear Lake?" - As noted above, there are limited numbers of test kits in our community. Hospital, Fire Department, and City officials are working with San Bernardino County public health officials to offer enhanced testing in Big Bear Valley or in the mountain areas as soon as test kits become more readily available.

  • "There have to be more cases of COVID-19 here" - The City relies on officially reported data from County public health officials, and this data is updated daily at the County's COVID-19 dashboard. As of March 28, there remains only one officially confirmed positive test in Big Bear Lake - Mayor Rick Herrick, and he is currently recovering at lower elevation. Having said that, there are some delays in reporting by the County due to the time it takes to receive test results, the admittance of patients from Big Bear Lake into hospital facilities off the mountain, and the fact that patients admitted elsewhere may or may not have another serious illness. As of March 28, we have reason to believe that at least one and perhaps two other individuals from Big Bear Valley may be seriously affected by COVID-19, however, the City relies on official data from County public health officials and these cases have not been officially confirmed as of this update. The City will absolutely share information about confirmed additional cases as it becomes known, and is committed to providing honest, factual information to our community. Most importantly, we should all simply ASSUME THAT THE VIRUS IS EVERYWHERE, and act responsibly to limit community transmission.

  • "The Bear Valley Community Hospital is full of patients on ventilators" - Bear Valley Community Hospital currently has 0 admitted patients, and in the event of serious patient condition will make arrangements to transfer the patient to a more comprehensive medical facility off the mountain. Both the hospital and Big Bear Fire Department (the local emergency medical services provider) report typical patient and call volumes for this time of year, and are well-equipped to meet this demand. Hospital and Fire Department staff are taking all appropriate precautions, and continue to engage in contingency planning in case the COVID-19 threat escalates in Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Valley.

  • "There are still vacation rentals operating in Big Bear Lake" - The City and the County have made it abundantly clear that lodging facilities and vacation rentals may not operate in Big Bear Lake or in areas outside the City limits (Big Bear City and other unincorporated areas). The City has been in direct communications with representatives of local vacation rental companies, and they are complying with these orders. The City has also been in direct communications with AirBnB management and our self-managed vacation rental owners about these orders, and they are working cooperatively with the City. Finally, City staff are fielding calls through the City's (909) 866-CODE hotline, and are responding to every single concern filed in the City limits. There have been a few evictions, but in the vast majority of cases the individuals using the vacation rental are the actual second home owners. It is important to note that San Bernardino County oversees the vacation rental program for Big Bear City and unincorporated areas of the County, and their vacation rental hotline is 888-399-8591.

  • "Do these orders apply in Big Bear City (or other unincorporated areas)?" - In most cases, because the City is implementing the Governor's and the County's orders, the answer is yes, but to be absolutely certain you would need to reach out to officials in Big Bear City or San Bernardino County to confirm. The City is responsible for approximately 6.5 square miles of land area, nearly 10,000 residential housing units, most of the commercial enterprises, and slightly more than 5,000 permanent residents in the City limits. As such, the City's updates are tailored specifically for City residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and visitors. We are absolutely happy to share City information with anyone who may find it helpful, however, it's important to note that our primary focus is the City of Big Bear Lake.

  • "There are 'flatlanders' coming up here from off the mountain and buying up all of our supplies and spreading the virus up here" - As a result of the various restrictions, there are very few visitors in Big Bear Lake and this is not perceived to be a significant issue for our community. Additionally, it's important to note that the City can't legally prevent someone from entering our community unless / until it is necessary to keep everyone in and everyone out of the City limits. We are not at that point yet, and if we evolve to that severe restriction it will need to be specifically recommended or ordered by State and/or County public health officials after consulting with City officials and other local government entities in the Big Bear Valley. The City of Big Bear Lake has the authority to completely close off the 6.5 square miles included in the City limits, however, it does not have authority over Big Bear City and other unincorporated areas in the Big Bear Valley. Finally, it's important to note that many residents of Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Valley have been traveling off the mountain to purchase food and supplies in other communities.

  • "We are running out of food and supplies up here" - Grocery industry officials report that the overall supply chain remains strong, and that there are sufficient supplies to meet normal consumer consumption patterns. Additionally, Von's and Stater Brothers have both enacted limits on the quantity of specific items that can be purchased, and they are working very hard to replenish shelves. There is enough for everyone if we all only purchase what we need - please don't hoard supplies!

  • "There are too many people at City parks or on the Alpine Pedal Path" - These outdoor public facilities remain open, and it's important for people to have an outlet to get outside and exercise. People using these facilities should only do so by themselves or with the same family group with whom they are "sheltering in place", and should avoid getting close to other users.

  • "We shouldn't allow second home owners to come to Big Bear Lake" - Second home owners are an important segment of the Big Bear Lake community, and enjoy and appreciate Big Bear Lake as much as those of us who are fortunate to live here year-round. Second homeowners pay the same property taxes and other taxes as permanent residents all year long, and also support our local businesses. Importantly, these owners have the same right to use their home as any permanent resident, and as long as they are adhering to the restrictions and recommendations in place in Big Bear Lake they are are permitted to use their home.

  • "The lake should not be opened on April 7, as that's too soon" - The lake and the public boat ramps are managed by the Big Bear Municipal Water District (MWD), a separate local government entity governed by it's own Board of Directors, and they have the responsibility to manage the lake as deemed best. The MWD is not an agency of the City of Big Bear Lake, and the City respects their judgment and authority to act within the Governor's and the County's orders regarding COVID-19. The MWD has set a tentative opening date of April 7, which is still 9 days away, and it is likely that the MWD will continue to evaluate this decision and adjust if necessary to promote public safety. The lake itself and the public boat ramps are generally not in the City limits of Big Bear Lake.

As noted earlier, the COVID-19 emergency is constantly evolving , and City officials (along with State, County, and other local government officials in Big Bear Valley) are all working hard to promote public safety. All of our actions are rooted, first and foremost, in keeping the people of Big Bear Lake and the entire Big Bear Valley safe during this unprecedented emergency .

It's a high priority for the City to keep you well-informed about the COVID-19 emergency and our actions in response to this emergency. The best way to do stay informed is to sign up for our regular updates by clicking here to visit the City's website.
The COVID-19 emergency is dangerous, frightening, and the ultimate outcome is so uncertain. It is also very stressful for those who have lost their jobs, are watching their businesses suffer, and are simply stuck at their homes.

It's important for all of us to continue to be diligent in adhering to the restrictions and recommendations already in place to maintain our own, our family's, and our neighbors' safety. It's also important for all of us to simply take it one day at a time , and be thankful for the blessings in our lives . If we take this approach, WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS! Life will go on, and we will return to a sense of normalcy in due time.

These are unprecedented times for EVERYONE, and although it's dangerous, uncertain, and stressful, we should all be thankful for:

  • the fact that we are still here, and that if we diligently adhere to the recommendations and restrictions we will get through this,

  • that we are fortunate to live in a truly beautiful and exceptional place, and we'll be enjoying it to the fullest as soon as this crisis has passed,

  • all of the dedicated health care workers working tirelessly and at their own risk to help others,

  • all of the grocery, prescription drug, restaurant, and other essential service workers making sure that our basic needs are met,
  • all of our Federal, State, and local elected leaders, and their staffs who are working around the clock to get us through this, and

  • the extra time with our families, and the ability to connect with distant family and friends via Skype, FaceTime, video conferencing, and more! This time is what you make of it, so make the most of it!
The City of Big Bear Lake has implemented various public health recommendations and restrictions for the past few weeks, and continues to do so.

The following key restrictions remain in effect in Big Bear Lake:
  • everyone in Big Bear Lake is directed to "shelter in place", especially those age 65 and older and those who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, however, travel is permitted for work and to conduct personal business,
  • grocery stores, drug stores, and other essential retail and service businesses may operate,
  • construction and repair activities may continue,
  • bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys, ski areas, snow play areas, and other similar businesses may not operate,
  • restaurants are closed for in-restaurant seated dining, however, take-out and delivery services are permitted,
  • lodging and vacation rentals may no longer operate, except for very limited situations,
  • non-essential group gatherings of any size are prohibited, including commercial establishments, churches, community groups, and other formal and informal group activities, and
  • isolated, outdoor exercise is permitted, including walking your dog.

In addition to the restrictions outlined above, the City encourages everyone to heed the following recommendations:

  • diligently honor the Governor's order to "shelter in place",

  • limit your interactions with others to the maximum extent practical,

  • plan your essential trips out accordingly, and limit the number of trips to the grocery store, drug store, etc.,

  • keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others you come into contact with,

  • wash your hands ALL THE TIME, and

  • if you need to get outside, take a walk, go for a run, take a bike ride, or go on a hike by yourself or with your family - but stay far way from others!

People in Big Bear Lake are being responsible, and the City appreciates everyone's cooperation - please keep it up!
The City has implemented several new public communications strategies in recent weeks, and is committed to keeping our permanent residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and visitors well-informed about the COVID-19 threats in Big Bear Lake and the City's efforts regarding COVID-19 .
This email update is the 16th City update regarding COVID-19, and it has recently come to our attention that some subscribers may be receiving warning messages about the content of these emails. We believe this issue may be related to the various links included in the email, and we are working hard to resolve these issues.

Please continue to use these emails to stay updated about COVID-19 in Big Bear Lake, and please share this information with others! We should have these issues resolved very soon.
On Friday, the US House of Representatives approved the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), and it was signed into law by President Trump. The CARES Act includes $2.2 trillion in aid for individuals, businesses, State and local government, and institutions. The CARES Act includes funding for loan and grant programs for various business sectors, including the tourism industry. City staff will be analyzing the CARES Act and monitoring new programs that are beneficial to our residents and businesses, and will share pertinent information with the Big Bear Lake community as it becomes known.

Several assistance programs have already been announced, including the following:

  • The City Council has taken action to prohibit residential and commercial evictions due to economic hardship caused by COVID-19, and Governor Newsom recently issued a new executive order to also prohibit evictions.

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications here. Applicants may also contact SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.
  • Local employees displaced due to the impact of COVID-19 may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance, and/or paid family leave through the California Employment Development Department. To learn more, click here.

  • Numerous California banks and mortgage companies are offering grace periods, relief from late fees and other charges, and limiting foreclosure actions. To learn more, click here.

  • The San Bernardino County Tax Collector has announced that late payment penalties will be waived for qualifying residential and business properties if property taxes are paid before June 30. To learn if you qualify, and other details, please call the San Bernardino Tax Collector's office at (909) 387-8308.

For assistance navigating these potential opportunities, please contact Christine Bennett , Senior Administrative Services Analyst at 909-866-5831 .
Local grocery stores, restaurants, and pharmacies are all working hard to provide food, drugs, and other essential items for the people of Big Bear Lake and the entire valley during the COVID-19 emergency, and they are happy to serve you!

Von's is open to the general public from 9 am - 9 pm each day, and offers "Golden Hours" for senior citizens, pregnant women, and those with disabilities each Monday - Friday from 7 am to 9 am in order to provide a safer shopping environment. Stater Brothers is open daily from 8 am - 9 pm, with early entry for senior citizens at 7 am each day. Both stores have limits on the purchase of certain items.

CVS is open from 9 am – 9 pm daily. Walgreens is also open from 9 am - 9 pm daily, with a special 8 am opening for senior citizens on Tuesdays. Both stores have limits on the purchase of certain items.

There are many great restaurants in Big Bear Lake, and these restaurants are all offering take-out and/or delivery options:

Ben & Jerry's
(909) 366-0474 – 652 Pine Knot Ave.

An Ran Ju Gelato & Teahouse
(909) 547-7576 - 546 Pine Knot Ave.

Wyatt's Grill and Saloon
(909) 585-3000 - 42900 Big Bear Blvd.

Amangela’s Sandwich & Bagel House
 (909) 878-0015 - 40729 Village Drive

Alpine Country Coffee Shop
(909) 866-1959 - 41546 Big Bear Blvd.

Grind & Grill Café
(909)866-5219 – 42011 Big Bear Blvd.

The Old German Deli
(909) 878-0515 -40645 Village Drive

Mountain Munchies
(909) 866-7767 – 42171 Big Bear Blvd.

Dank Donuts
(909) 547-6053 - 42612 Moonridge Rd.

Teddy Bear Restaurant
(909) 866-5415 - 583 Pine Knot Ave.

Big Bear Brewing Company
(909) 878-0283 - 40827 Stone Rd

The Boneyard Bar & Grill
(909) 878-0401 – 560 Pine Knot Ave.

Domino’s Pizza
(909) 866-3555 – 41234 Big Bear Blvd.

Nuevo Vallarta Grille
(909) 866-7355 – 40949 Big Bear Blvd.

Get the Burger
(909) 866-8800 – 42151 Big Bear Blvd.

Murray’s Saloon & Eatery
(909) 866-1444 – 672 Cottage Lane

Village Pizza
(909) 866-8505 – 40568 Village Dr.

Maggio’s Pizza
(909) 866-8815 – 42160 Big Bear Blvd.

Red Baron Pizza
(909) 866-4744 - 42173 Big Bear Blvd.

Azteca Grill
(909) 866-2350 - 40199 Big Bear Blvd.

Country Kitchen
(909) 878-0364 – 39904 Big Bear Blvd.

Fuji Restaurant
(909) 866-8108 - 41025 Big Bear Blvd.

(909) 866-7842 – 41196 Big Bear Blvd.

Royal Thai
(909) 866-2808 – 40766 Village Dr.

Saucy Mama’s Pizza & Pasta
(909) 878-0165 – 618 Pine Knot Ave.

Chuang Dynasty
(909) 866-7887 – 40989 Big Bear Blvd.

Jersey Mike’s
(909) 866-0447 – 42173 Big Bear Blvd.

BLT’s Restaurant
(909) 866-6659 – 41799 Big Bear Blvd.

Santana & Maverick’s Unique Crafted Foods
(909) 878-0047 - 40771 Big Bear Blvd.

Café Crepe
(909) 809-2353 – 41003 Big Bear Blvd.

Sonora Cantina
(909) 866-8202 – 41144 Big Bear Blvd.

Barrel 33
(909) 878-0838 – 40754 Village Drive

Mountain Bar & Grill
(909) 878-0802 – 42164 Moonridge Rd.

(909) 693-5233 - 41412 Big Bear Blvd.

Jack in the Box
(909) 866-6436 – 40771 Village Dr.

El Pollo Loco
(909) 866-1019 – 41383 Big Bear Blvd.

Taco Bell
(909) 866-7778 - 41170 Big Bear Blvd.

If you're tired of cooking, or miss your favorite spot in Big Bear Lake, please order take-out or have it delivered to your home. Please practice effective social distancing when you pick up your food, and wash your hands before and after you visit the restaurant!

If you own a local restaurant, and the City has accidentally not included you on this list, please reply to this email and let us know you are open. We are happy to add your restaurant to the list.
The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health operates a COVID-19 Hotline for residents with questions about COVID-19. Please call (909) 387-3911 for assistance.
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 threat - 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!
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