Update #54
COVID-19 Emergency
May 8, 2020 - 7 pm
Still Only 5 Confirmed Cases in City, 1 New Case in Unincorporated Areas

Hospital Bed, Ventilator Availability Remains Constant

San Bernardino County Rescinds Public Health Orders, Now Relies Soley on Governor's Order

Governor's Orders Now Allow Curbside Pickup at Retail Locations in Big Bear Lake

City Council Meets In Person on Monday, Will Consider Several COVID-19 Actions, Including Reopening Plan

Lodging, Vacation Rentals Required to Block Out Reservations Through May 14

No City COVID-19 Updates This Weekend
THIS IS THE OFFICIAL GUIDANCE FROM THE CITY OF BIG BEAR LAKE
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!
STILL ONLY 5 CONFIRMED CASES IN CITY, 1 NEW CASE IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS
There are now a total of 9 confirmed cases in Big Bear Valley, with an additional case reported in unincorporated areas outside the City limits. There are still a total of 5 confirmed cases in the City of Big Bear Lake and 4 in unincorporated areas outside the City limits.

There have been no new cases in the City of Big Bear Lake in the past 15 days, and only 2 new cases since April 2.

The County reports a total of 2,629 confirmed cases in San Bernardino County. A total of 27,830 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 9.4% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 111 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.
HOSPITAL BED, VENTILATOR AVAILABILITY REMAINS CONSTANT
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 continues to suggest that COVID-19 remains 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 236 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 1,131 "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 65 patients in intensive care, and 157 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 295 ventilators in use in the County, and an additional 541 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 with 30+ hospital beds and 7 ventilators.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY RESCINDS PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS, NOW RELIES SOLELY ON GOVERNOR'S ORDER
San Bernardino County has rescinded County public health orders, and is now relying exclusively on the Governor's orders. As such, the City of Big Bear Lake is subject only to the Governor's orders at this time. The County took this action earlier today in order to be better prepared to adjust when the Governor's orders are adjusted, and also as the County and City seek greater flexibility to implement looser restrictions.

San Bernardino County expects to submit a formal request to the Governor for local flexibility next week. The County and the City remain hopeful that the Governor will also adjust the unrealistic variance criteria announced yesterday, as many counties and cities in California have expressed concerns about the unrealistic criteria. Both the County and the City will continue to seek local flexibility to implement local reopening plans, and remain hopeful that the Governor will ultimately delegate authority to loosen restrictions to the County and/or the City in the near future.

As a result of the County rescinding its orders, face coverings are no longer required, as the Governor's order does not require the use of face coverings. Both the County and the City continue to recommend that face coverings be worn when interacting with others.
GOVERNOR'S ORDERS NOW ALLOW CURBSIDE PICK-UP AT RETAIL LOCATIONS IN BIG BEAR LAKE
Governor Newsom's amended order now allows many retail businesses to operate for curbside pickup only. From a practical standpoint, this order should allow every retail business in the City of Big Bear Lake to operate in this manner, effective today. "Essential businesses", as deemed by the Governor, continue to be allowed to operate in the same manner as permitted over the past several weeks. All businesses should implement physical distancing, promote proper hygiene, and implement robust disinfection procedures. For specific guidance, please visit the Governor's Resilience Roadmap .

Restaurants continue to be limited to take-out and delivery services only, and any food establishment is permitted to operate in this manner. Lodging facilities and vacation rentals continue to be permitted to operate only if housing essential workers or COVID-19 patients.
CITY COUNCIL MEETS IN PERSON ON MONDAY, WILL CONSIDER SEVERAL COVID-19 ACTIONS, INCLUDING REOPENING PLAN
The City Council is scheduled to meet on Monday, May 11 at 6:30 pm, and will consider several COVID-19 actions, including an updated and improved "reopening plan" for Big Bear Lake. The Council will meet in person for the first time since March 9 - with appropriate physical distancing - in City Hall. The public is not permitted to attend in person, but can view the meeting on cable channel 182 or on the City's website, and can make public comment by calling into the meeting. Instructions for public comment are included on the May 11 meeting agenda.

City Council will consider several COVID-19 actions, including:

  • a $100,000 grant application for COVID-19 testing and/or a COVID-19 business assistance grant program,

  • the waiver of business license renewal fees and other delayed fee increases, in order to provide some relief for our businesses and residents in these challenging times,

  • a modified emergency declaration, in order to provide flexibility to suspend portions of the Development Code if needed to assist businesses and residents in the future, and

  • review of the ad hoc committee's recommended plan for the safe, responsible reopening of Big Bear Lake, at such time that the Governor provides local authority to loosen restrictions.

The City will continue to seek local flexibility to implement our own safe, responsible reopening plan, and is currently exploring different strategies to achieve that goal - hopefully sooner rather than later. The City continues to assert that the incidence of COVID-19 is low in our community, there is adequate capacity in the health care system to effectively manage COVID-19, adequate testing and contact tracing is available in our area, and that the significant economic and social harm is too great in our community.

The land area of the Big Bear Valley and surrounding areas is as large as some other counties in the United States and California. If the Big Bear Valley was its own County, we believe our area would qualify for a variance under the Governor's unrealistic criteria. One way or the other, the City continues to seek authority to safely, responsibly reopen our community.
LODGING, VACATION RENTALS REQUIRED TO BLOCK OUT RESERVATIONS THROUGH MAY 14
In accordance with Governor Newsom's and County public health officials' orders, lodging facilities and vacation rentals are now required 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 remains hopeful that the City will again welcome visitors beginning on May 15. Additional information will be provided in the City's future COVID-19 updates.
NO CITY COVID-19 UPDATES THIS WEEKEND
Unless there are significant developments that warrant immediate notification of the Big Bear Lake community, the City will not issue COVID-19 updates this weekend. The next City COVID-19 update will be issued on Monday, May 11.
RESTAURANTS, SENIORS CAN NOW SIGN UP FOR MEAL DELIVERY
The new "Great Plates Delivered" program provides 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
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY PLANNING BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM TO SUPPORT COVID-COMPLIANT BUSINESSES
San Bernardino County officials are planning a County-wide, $30 million grant program to assist small businesses with expenses associated with reopening in a safe, "COVID-Compliant" manner.

The grant program will be available to Big Bear Lake businesses, and is expected to assist small businesses with costs associated with PPE, disinfectants, hygiene supplies, and more in order to promote public health and safety as the economy is reopened. The City will include additional details about this new grant program in future COVID-19 updates.
BEWARE OF COVID-19 SCAMS!
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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