Update #51
COVID-19 Emergency
May 5, 2020 - 6:30 pm
Still 8 Confirmed Cases in Big Bear Valley

No Significant Change in COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Ventilator Use

Committee to Review Updated Reopening Plan on Wednesday

San Bernardino County To Seek Flexibility from Governor Newsom

City Awaits Clarification from Governor On Planned Loosening of Restrictions

Lodging, Vacation Rentals Now Advised to Block Out Reservations Through May 14

Beware of COVID-19 Scams!

Restaurants, Seniors Can Now Sign Up for Meal Delivery
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. 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 Frank A. Rush, Jr., City Manager, at 909-866-5832 or via email.
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!
There are still a total of 8 confirmed cases in Big Bear Valley, with a total of 5 confirmed cases in the City of Big Bear Lake and 3 in unincorporated areas outside the City limits.

The County reports a total of 2,329 confirmed cases in San Bernardino County. A total of 24,413 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 9.5% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 101 people have now died from COVID-19 in San Bernardino County. Thankfullly, there are 0 deaths reported for the Big Bear Valley.

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.
City officials continue to track the County's data regarding hospital bed and ventilator availability in our County, and this data is now perhaps the most important data to consider as we move forward on the COVID-19 issue.

County data suggests that COVID-19 remains relatively manageable in our area, as COVID-19 hospitalizations and ventilator use continue to remain relatively constant. Thankfully, hospitals in San Bernardino County are not overburdened by COVID-19, and are functioning in a relatively normal manner.

According to the County, there are a total of 254 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. The number of patients hospitalized has generally remained in the 250 - 350 range since April 1, with a peak of 451 on April 10. The County reports a total of 1,085 "surge capacity" beds (the number of additional beds a hospital could provide if all available space was needed) in the County, and there are approximately 6,000 total hospital beds in the County.

There are a total of 75 patients in intensive care, and 135 intensive care beds are still available. The number of ICU patients has generally remained in the 75 - 125 range since April 1, with a peak of 124 on April 10. There are a total of 290 ventilators in use in the County, and an additional 553 ventilators still available. This number has remained steady in the 300 range since April 1.

Bear Valley Community Hospital and Big Bear Fire / EMS officials continue to report generally lower patient and call volumes than typical for this time of year, which remains a good sign for our community. Bear Valley Community Hospital is equipped 30+ hospital beds and 7 ventilators.
The City Council-appointed ad hoc committee tasked with reviewing, adjusting, and improving the City's April 27 draft proposal for reopening Big Bear Lake is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, May 6. The committee will review an updated proposal, and is expected to make a recommendation to the City Council, who will consider the updated proposal at its meeting on May 11.

The City continues to be dependent on Governor Newsom and San Bernardino County to delegate authority for the City to implement its own restrictions, but is working hard to be prepared if / when that authority is granted. The City continues to work closely with County officials on this issue, and is confident that our community can reopen in a safe, responsible manner if / when granted authority. The City would implement this updated proposal, if approved by City Council, only after the approval of the Governor and / or the County.

The City's updated proposal includes the following key provisions:

  • allows all businesses to operate in Big Bear Lake at 50% occupancy initially, with 6 ft. separation between patrons, plus additional outdoor merchandise displays,

  • allows 50% of lodging units in each facility to be occupied, along with 50% of all available vacation rental units (regardless of whether they are managed by a company or an individual),

  • allows restaurants to operate at 50% indoor occupancy, with 6 ft. separation, plus additional outdoor seating,

  • all businesses would implement "best practices" developed by local business leaders, industry experts, trade associations, and licensing boards,

  • requires everyone to maintain 6 ft. separation from others, and also requires everyone to carry face coverings on their person for required use when interacting with others,

  • implements a pilot program to close Pine Knot Ave. and Village Dr. in The Village on Saturdays and Sundays, with the main vehicle lanes allocated for pedestrian use, while sidewalks would be made available for outdoor merchandise display and additional outdoor restaurant seating,

  • overnight visitors would be encouraged to either bring food and supplies from their home community and/or patronize local restaurants, and

  • the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce would work with local businesses to establish special programs for seniors and vulnerable residents.

This proposal would be implemented initially for an indefinite period of time, and modified as necessary by the City depending on circumstances. If the City continues to experience a low incidence of COVID-19, the City would look to further ease restrictions as soon as possible. If the City experiences a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, the City would implement more stringent restrictions as needed. The City believes that the updated proposal represents a safe, responsible plan for reopening Big Bear Lake, and will be working hard to ensure that our residents remain safe, our businesses continue to operate, and that our economy returns and remains vibrant in the future.

The agenda packet for the meeting, including instructions to view the meeting and participate, is posted on the City's website.
The Governor's new Executive Order (paragraph 2) includes a provision whereby County governments may secure the ability to be less restrictive than the State in the future. San Bernardino County officials are currently considering County reopening strategies, and the County is planning to submit a formal request to the Governor later this week.

The City applauds San Bernardino County for its quick action, and is hopeful for a quick decision from Governor Newsom. City officials remain in close contact with County officials, and expect that San Bernardino County will begin loosening restrictions that are helpful to Big Bear Lake and/or that the County will delegate further authority to the City in the coming days and weeks.
Governor Newsom plans to loosen restrictions for several types of businesses on Friday, but has not yet communicated specific details. The City expects to learn these details on Wednesday or Thursday, and will implement these changes in Big Bear Lake on Friday. These changes will be communicated in the City's COVID-19 updates later this week.
In accordance with Governor Newsom's and County public health officials' orders, the City is now advising lodging facilities and vacation rentals to block out all dates through May 14.

The City continues to work with County officials to ease the restrictions on lodging facilities and vacation rentals, and is hopeful that these business activities may resume, in some fashion, and that the City will again welcome visitors beginning on May 15. Additional information will be provided in the City's future COVID-19 updates.
Governor Newsom recently announced the launch of the "Great Plates Delivered" program. This program will provide adults 65 and older and adults 60-64 who are at high-risk from COVID-19 with three (3) nutritious meals a day to help keep them safe at home and healthy, and also provides economic assistance to local restaurants .
The Great Plates Delivered Program is administered by San Bernardino County . Individuals with questions regarding how the program works and eligibility can find answers here . To enroll in the program, eligible individuals should call (888) 743-1485. Information on the program for Big Bear Lake restaurants interested in participating can be found here . Restaurants interested in participating should submit their interest to mary.bernal@hss.sbcounty.gov
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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!
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