Update #20
COVID-19 Emergency
April 2, 2020 - 5:30 pm
Now 3 Confirmed Cases in City of Big Bear Lake

San Bernardino County Health Officer Issues Guidance Regarding Face Coverings

Governor Newsom Announces Additional Help For Small Businesses

Excellent New Summary of Federal Assistance for Small Businesses

Summary of Current Recommendations and Restrictions
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!
As of 5 pm today, there are now a total of 3 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, and 1 confirmed case in Big Bear City. HIPAA requirements prohibit the release of additional information about the patients or their specific location.

As of 5 pm today, there were a total of 304 confirmed cases in San Bernardino County. A total of 3,391 tests have been administered thus far in the County, and approximately 9% 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.
San Bernardino County public health officials are recommending people use face coverings when leaving home to conduct essential business such as grocery shopping, going to a medical appointment, or visiting a pharmacy to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. The County made the recommendation after reviewing guidance released on April 1 from the California Department of Public Health.

Face coverings may include coverings that secure to the ears or back of the head and encompass the mouth and nose. Homemade cloth ear loop covers, bandannas and handkerchiefs, and neck gaiters may be used to reduce the spread of COVID-19, particularly among asymptomatic people.

"Staying home, practicing social distancing, and frequent hand washing are far more effective ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, and face coverings are not a substitute for continuing those practices", said Acting County Public Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “Surgical masks and N95 masks should not be used because they must be preserved for healthcare workers and emergency responders,” Gustafson said. “If you do use a face covering, make sure to practice frequent hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the covering.”

Wash cloth face coverings frequently after each use -- at least daily. Place face coverings in a bag until washing them in detergent with hot water and dried on a hot cycle. Discard cloth face coverings that no longer cover the nose and mouth, have stretched out or damaged ties and straps, cannot stay on the face, and have holes or tears in the fabric.
Earlier today, Governor Newsom announced additional assistance for small businesses in California, including funding for a State program to assist small businesses who do not qualify for Federal funds, and the deferment of State sales and use taxes for up to 12 months. To learn more about the Governor's recent actions, please click here.
Accountingprose, a small business bookkeeping and payroll service with offices in Phoenix and Denver, has prepared an excellent summary of the various Federal and private sector programs offering assistance to small businesses. To learn more, please click here, and be sure to click on the various tabs at the top of the page, as there are numerous programs available.

Big Bear Chamber of Commerce staff and City staff are available to help our small business community navigate the various programs. Big Bear Chamber of Commerce is hosting a special 1-hour Q&A session via the online ZOOM meeting platform to discuss assistance available to Big Bear businesses. Christine Bennett, Senior Administrative Services Analyst for the City, will also participate and explain assistance available through the Small Business Administration. The ZOOM meeting will begin at 10 am on Friday, April 3, and you can participate in the meeting by clicking here shortly before 10 am. The Meeting ID is 121 695 109, and the Password is 437380.

If you own a small business in Big Bear Lake, and need assistance, please contact us at (909) 866-5831!
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,

  • use face coverings when you must go out in the community, but consider them as an additional tool to be used in conjunction with other social distancing and hand washing recommendations, 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.
In accordance with State, County, and City public health orders, 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.

The City continues its diligent enforcement efforts (in the City limits only), and will do so 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 staff have investigated EVERY SINGLE COMPLAINT received, and will continue to do so. City staff have and will continue to issue violation notices and remove guests staying in vacation rental units in violation of these restrictions. Thus far, 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".

There remains concern in the Big Bear Lake community about self-managed vacation rentals continuing to advertise on AirBnB, VRBO, and other online platforms. While it is not a violation of State, County, and City orders to advertise on these platforms, it causes concern in our community that these units are being actively advertised in violation of these orders and breeds suspicion that they may be occupied. The City has directed all self-managed vacation rentals to cease online advertising through at least April 30. Self-managed vacation rental owners should simply block out all dates through at least April 30 and/or temporarily remove the online advertisement. It is permissible for self-managed vacation rental owners to advertise for later this year, however, owners should recognize that the current restrictions do not currently have an expiration date, and will continue to be evaluated as circumstances in Big Bear Lake dictate. It is important to note that the COVID-19 emergency continues to evolve, and further guidance may ultimately be provided to extend this recommended date beyond April 30.

Again, it is important to note that the City's directives apply only to vacation rentals in the City limits of Big Bear Lake. Concerns about vacation rentals in Big Bear City or other unincorporated area in the Big Bear Valley should be directed to San Bernardino County.
City Hall is again providing the full range of City services, and City staff are working hard to manage the City's COVID-19 response AND maintain the high quality of all other City services.

In an effort to promote the safety of our customers and staff, City Hall remains closed to the public for the foreseeable future, however, the City encourages our customers to conduct business with City staff over the telephone or online - or by scheduling an appointment if necessary. If an in-person meeting is necessary, City staff will schedule an appointment with you in City Hall, and in-person meetings will be conducted with effective social distancing measures in a sanitary environment.

To conduct City business over the telephone, or to schedule an in-person appointment, please call (909) 866-5831. To visit the City of Big Bear Lake website, please click here.
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.
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.
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
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  • 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