Update #18
COVID-19 Emergency
March 31, 2020 - 5 pm
Mayor Herrick Provides Update, Encourages Vigilance

Lodging Facilities, Vacation Rentals May Not Operate,
City Continues Enforcement Efforts

City Hall Resumes Full Range of Services -
By Phone, Online, or By Appointment Only

SBA Loans Available To Big Bear Lake Small Businesses, Additional Information About Opportunities Available Through the Federal CARES Act

COVID-19 Dashboard Reports 2 Cases in
Big Bear Lake Area - Let's Keep This Number Low!
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!
Mayor Rick Herrick, the first confirmed case in the Big Bear Valley, continues to recover from COVID-19 at lower altitude, and provided this update earlier today:

"Our community is strong and is showing, once again, that our fortitude and resolve will get us through these difficult times.  No one has been spared in sharing the hardships of social distancing, closed businesses, lost jobs, and the potential losses of community members.  A “healthy” level of paranoia is in order to protect ourselves and each other.  
After being in isolation for 10 days followed by a night in the UCSD emergency room, I continued my self-quarantine off the mountain for another 8 days. The lower altitude certainly helped my lungs to absorb additional oxygen.  I am approaching the time to return to Big Bear and get reabsorbed back into our community once feeling 100%. Although the experts say that Cathy and I will now be coronavirus-resistant, we will still practice proper hygiene, social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, and encouraging others to stay home if they feel sick.  In addition, the City of Big Bear Lake, Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency, and the Big Bear Fire District are conducting meetings via ZOOM teleconferencing in order to discourage community transmission. My wife, Cathy, who is president of the Bear Valley Unified School District, is meeting via ZOOM as well.
I hope this message finds you and your family well, and weathering this storm in relative comfort.  Help your friends and neighbors when possible, follow the health guidelines, and be well because the worst may still lay ahead."

All of us at the City of Big Bear Lake are thankful for Mayor Herrick's continued progress, and look forward to welcoming him home very soon!
In response to the Governor's "shelter in place" order, and after receiving additional clarification, the City of Big Bear Lake and San Bernardino County (which has authority over all other areas in Big Bear Valley not in the City limits) have both enacted restrictions on lodging facilities and vacation rentals.
Lodging facilities and vacation rentals may only operate under the following circumstances:
  • to provide accommodations for critical infrastructure workers in our community,

  • if specifically designated by the State or County to house confirmed COVID-19 patients (currently not the case and highly unlikely in the future), and

  • to serve existing guests who were already here prior to March 23, provided the existing guests "shelter in place" at the lodging facility or vacation rental.

City staff have worked closely with local vacation rental management companies, AirBnB leadership, and directly with property owners to communicate this restriction. All parties understand the seriousness of the COVID-19 emergency, and have been very cooperative. City staff have also been working diligently to address potential violations, and have investigated and responded to EVERY SINGLE COMPLAINT received since March 23 . In nearly all cases, the vacation rental unit has been occupied by the second home owner, and those owners are permitted to occupy their own home as long as they "shelter in place". Additionally, as of today, a total of 17 violation notices have been issued, and guests at 6 unauthorized vacation rentals have been forced to vacate and return to their home community .

The City will continue its diligent enforcement efforts (in the City limits only) until the COVID-19 emergency has ended and this restriction has been lifted. To report a potential violation of this order, please call (909) 866-CODE. Please note that this number is only for violations in the City limits of Big Bear Lake. To report potential violations in Big Bear City or unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, please call 888-399-8591.
City Hall has been operating with very limited staff since Mayor Herrick's positive test for COVID-19 on March 20, and some City services have been suspended during this time. It has now been 20 days since Mayor Herrick was last inside City Hall on March 12, and beginning April 1, City Hall will again provide the full range of City services.

The City has been working to implement various technology improvements over the past few weeks in order to enable City staff to be productive working from home, and some employees will be providing service from home beginning April 1. If our system works the way it's intended, our customers should not even notice the difference. Some City employees will again be working in City Hall, and efforts have been taken and will continue to ensure a sanitary work environment and maintain effective social distancing between employees and our customers.

City Hall will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future, and the City encourages our customers to first attempt to conduct business with City staff over the telephone or online. If an in-person meeting is necessary, City staff will schedule an appointment with you in City Hall. In-person meetings will be conducted with effective social distancing measures, and all transactions will occur in a sanitary environment. To conduct City business over the telephone, or to schedule an in-person appointment, please call (909) 866-5831.

We thank our customers for your patience while we limited services over the past week and a half, and look forward to providing comprehensive, high quality service to you in the future.
San Bernardino County has compiled a helpful summary of small business loans available to Big Bear Lake small businesses, and this summary can be accessed here.

Eligible loan expenditures include payroll, debt, accounts payable, inventory, equipment, and more. Five different loan programs are available, in amounts ranging up to $50,000 to up $2 million. Amortization periods range from 3 - 30 years, with interest rates ranging from Prime +1% to 8%. Some programs can be funded in as little 5 - 7 days, or up to 8 weeks.

For more information, please visit the SBA website or call the phone numbers indicated on the attached flyer.

Additionally, the US Travel Association has prepared a helpful slideshow with information specific to tourism-related businesses, and that slideshow can be viewed here.

The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce is offering assistance to local businesses, and Christine Bennett , a Senior Administrative Services Analyst for the City of Big Bear Lake, is available to assist Big Bear Lake businesses at (909) 866-5831.
San Bernardino County updates its COVID-19 dashboard at least daily, and as of 8 am this morning, the dashboard reports a total of 2 cases in Big Bear Lake. It is important to note that, due to the fact that many residents outside the City limits have a PO Box in the City of Big Bear Lake, some cases outside of the City limits may be included in the total number of cases reported on the dashboard. As of today, City officials believe that only 1 of the 2 cases is in the City limits (Mayor Herrick), and that the other case is in the unincorporated area of the Big Bear Valley.

As of 8 am this morning, there were a total of 125 confirmed cases in San Bernardino County. Nearly 2,000 tests have been administered thus far in the County, and approximately 6.4% of those tested have been positive for COVID-19. This data is updated daily at the County's COVID-19 dashboard, and the City encourages everyone to view this site for the most accurate information.

Thanks to the diligence of the entire Big Bear Lake community, the number of confirmed cases in our area remains low. You can help us keep the total number of cases in Big Bear Lake low by continuing to "shelter in place", practice effective social distancing when you do have to go out, and by practicing good personal hygiene. There is still a long way to go to end the COVID-19 emergency, but City officials remain encouraged by the community's diligence, the low number of cases, and low percentage of positive tests to date. Let's keep the number of cases low, and end the COVID-19 emergency in Big Bear Lake as soon as possible!
San Bernardino County is offering its second drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 on April 2 at the County Fairgrounds in Victorville. Tests will be conducted by appointment between 10 am and 1 pm, with additional testing (as supplies last) planned for drive-ups between 1 pm and 2 pm. For more information, and to schedule an appointment, please click here.

City officials, Bear Valley Community Hospital officials, and Big Bear Fire Department officials continue to work toward the establishment of a drive-thru testing site in the Big Bear Valley or in the mountain region, and details regarding any future testing will be included in future updates.
Due to updated projections suggesting that the COVID-19 emergency will not be resolved for several more weeks, all City-supported and Visit Big Bear-sponsored special events are postponed through at least June 1. The City and Visit Big Bear will periodically revisit special events currently scheduled for June and beyond as COVID-19 circumstances evolve in the coming weeks. Event organizers will be working to reschedule postponed events to a later date this summer or fall if possible.
The City of Big Bear Lake has implemented various public health recommendations and restrictions for the past several weeks, and continues to do so.

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!

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,
  • isolated, outdoor exercise is permitted, including walking your dog, and

  • City parks and the Alpine Pedal remain open, however, these facilities should be enjoyed by yourself, with your small family group, and users should avoid close contact with others.
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 many local restaurants are offering take-out and delivery options. A full list of these restaurants can be viewed here.
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.
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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:
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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!
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