CITY DILIGENTLY MONITORING ISSUES, PREPARING ACCORDINGLY
City officials continue to closely monitor National, State, and regional developments associated with COVID-19 (coronavirus), and continue efforts to prepare for an escalation of the COVID-19 threat in Big Bear Lake. City officials remain in regular communications with San Bernardino County public health officials and local health care providers, and rely exclusively on their expertise and guidance relative to the public health risks and recommendations applicable to Big Bear Lake.
"COVID-19 is a concern for the City and the entire Big Bear Valley", stated Mayor Rick Herrick. "The threat is real but our exposure is low at this time. I am concerned for the health of our citizens and visitors, along with concern for visitor-based jobs and economy. In real terms, we are intertwined as a tourist town, and so any loss will eventually be felt by everyone. Please do what is necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and understand that event cancellations are State and County-wide orders. Together we will need to pull together to minimize our exposure. My advice is to maximize personal hygiene and minimize unnecessary rumors."
STILL NO LOCAL CASES; CITY RESPONSE TO FUTURE CASES WILL BE TAILORED TO SPECIFIC THREAT AND CIRCUMSTANCES
Fortunately, there are still no confirmed cases in Big Bear Lake or San Bernardino County, however, we expect that there will eventually be persons affected in our community, and we are preparing accordingly. The City, along with our public agency partners in the Big Bear Valley, will be ready to respond appropriately to an escalation of the virus in our community when and as it occurs, and the City's response will be tailored to the specific threat and circumstances in the Big Bear Valley.
For example, if a relatively small number of individuals are confirmed to be infected, those individuals will either be sent to capable medical facilities for proper medical care or will be sent home for self-quarantine. If a more significant outbreak occurs in Big Bear Lake, the specific number of cases and the specific circumstances of those cases will dictate the City's and our partners' response. City officials will consider all appropriate strategies and will implement the most effective response to promote the safety of our residents and visitors.
Restrictions on access to, from, and within the City of Big Bear Lake will only be implemented if specific circumstances warrant, and any decisions will be closely coordinated by City officials with public health officials, law enforcement, and other emergency response personnel. Because the COVID-19 threat is currently low in Big Bear Lake, this approach is not warranted at this time, but will be considered in the future if warranted.
CITY EFFORTS TO DATE
City officials have been closely monitoring COVID-19 issues for several weeks, and have been working with other State, regional, and local entities to prepare for an escalation of the COVID-19 threat in Big Bear Lake.
Specific efforts to date include:
- regular communication with public health officials,
- review of existing emergency plans, consideration of various "what-if" scenarios, and refinement of plans,
- coordination with Bear Valley Community Hospital and local emergency responders,
- enhanced disinfection and cleaning of City facilities,
- procurement of sanitizer stations and additional masks for emergency responders,
- planning for continuation of City services if City officials are compromised by COVID-19, and
- regular communication with Big Bear Mountain Resort.
City officials will continue these efforts, and will implement additional strategies as warranted to promote public safety as the COVID-19 threat evolves in Big Bear Lake.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY PROHIBITION ON
LARGE GATHERINGS REMAINS IN EFFECT
On March 12, San Bernardino County formally ordered the immediate cancellation or postponement of gatherings of more than 250 people, including concerts, sporting events, conferences, and other special events. It does NOT apply to regular business activities,shopping at a store or mall, eating at a restaurant, attending a movie, or other routine public and private services.
BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN RESORTS (BBMR) CLOSED INDEFINITELY
In an effort to promote the safety of visitors, staff, and the local community, Big Bear Mountain Resorts has suspended operations and will remain closed indefinitely. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain will reopen when deemed safe for all parties.
ALL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER EVENTS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
In accordance with the San Bernardino County order, the City has postponed all events scheduled at the Performing Arts Center until further notice. Questions regarding specific performances should be directed to event organizers.
BEAR VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 13
In an effort to promote the safety of students and faculty, and following decisions by other regional school systems, Bear Valley Unified School District announced that schools will be closed from March 16 - 26, in addition to previously scheduled off-days for spring break from March 27 - April 10. In total, BVUSD students will miss a total of 9 school days as a result of this decision, with the hope that conditions will enable students to resume classes on April 13.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANCE ANTICIPATED FOR IMPACTED BUSINESSES
With President's Trump recent emergency declaration, it is anticipated that financial assistance will be made available to businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 in the coming weeks. City officials will be working with County officials and the Chamber of Commerce to ensure Big Bear Lake businesses are aware of potential assistance as more details emerge.
DO YOUR PART!
All of us have a personal responsibility to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Heed the advice of public health officials, and:
- wash your hands frequently,
- avoid touching your face,
- sneeze or cough into your elbow,
- disinfect your surroundings,
- practice social distancing,
- don't go to work or congregate with others if you are feeling ill, and
- if you have symptoms, call your medical provider before you visit!