Update #55
COVID-19 Emergency
May 11, 2020 - 12 noon
Now 6 Confirmed Cases in City, 4 in Unincorporated Areas

Total of 51 Confirmed / Suspected COVID-19 Patients on Ventilators in San Bernardino County, Total of 216 Patients on Ventilators for Other Reasons

Summary of Governor Newsom's Current Restrictions and Recommendations in Big Bear Lake

More Guidance for Lodging, Vacation Rentals Expected Later This Week

Additional, Frequent Testing Now Available in Victor Valley

City Council Meets In Person Tonight, Will Consider Several COVID-19 Actions, Including City's Proposed Reopening Plan
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!
NOW 6 CONFIRMED CASES IN CITY, 4 IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS
There are now a total of 10 confirmed cases in Big Bear Valley, with an additional case reported in the City limits over the weekend. There are now a total of 6 confirmed cases in the City of Big Bear Lake and 4 in unincorporated areas outside the City limits.

The County reports a total of 3,015 confirmed cases in San Bernardino County. A total of 31,784 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 9.5% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 115 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.
TOTAL OF 51 CONFIRMED / SUSPECTED COVID-19 PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, TOTAL OF 216 PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS FOR OTHER REASONS
City officials continue to closely track the County's data regarding hospital bed and ventilator availability in our County, and we view this data as the most important data for managing the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the County, there are a total of 231 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. The number of patients hospitalized has generally remained in the 250 range since April 15, and hit its peak of 451 patients on April 10. The County reports a total of 1,128 "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 68 patients in intensive care, and 171 intensive care beds are still available. The number of ICU patients has generally remained in the 75 range since April 23, and hit its peak of 124 on April 10. There are a total of 267 ventilators in use in the County, and an additional 575 ventilators still available. It should be noted that of this total, only 51 of the ventilators are being used by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. The other 216 ventilators are being utilized by patients with other ailments. The number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients on ventilators has remained in this same range since April 25.

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.

The stated goals for Governor Newsom's response to COVID-19 were to a) slow the spread and b) not overwhelm the health care system, and thankfully, both of these goals appear to have been met in San Bernardino County and in the Big Bear Valley. Although COVID-19 remains a significant public health concern, it appears to be manageable by our local health care system.
SUMMARY OF GOVERNOR NEWSOM'S CURRENT RESTRICTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN BIG BEAR LAKE
With the r ecent rescission of public health orders by San Bernardino County, the City of Big Bear Lake is now relying exclusively on Governor Newsom's orders regarding COVID-19.

The City recognizes that the Governor's orders may be confusing and inconsistent, and we are attempting to communicate the most updated information to the public in Big Bear Lake. In an attempt to provide some clarity for our residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and visitors, these are the most current recommendations and restrictions applicable in Big Bear Lake:

  • Everyone is encouraged to maintain at least 6 ft. of separation from others (or other groups not from your household or family unit) in all interactions.

  • Face coverings are no longer required, but are recommended by both San Bernardino County and City of Big Bear Lake officials for all interactions with others.

  • Everyone is encouraged to continue to wash your hands frequently, generously apply hand sanitizer, and to simply be highly vigilant and aware of the virus, and act responsibly. All of us are now well aware of the various common-sense approaches to keep ourselves, our families, and other safe!

  • Our most vulnerable residents should take additional precautions, and thoughtfully reconsider the need to interact with others. These groups include those over age 65, those with other significant health concerns, and those with compromised immune systems.

  • The City interprets the Governor's most recent orders to allow ALL retail businesses in the City of BIg Bear Lake to operate for curbside pickup only. In accordance with the Governor's orders, only "essential" retail businesses are permitted to serve customers in indoor shopping areas or designated outdoor shopping areas, including grocery stores, drug stores, and other stores selling "essential" items. For further guidance from Governor Newsom, please visit the Governor's Resilience Roadmap. The Governor's website includes specific safety guidelines for each type of business.

  • Outdoor physical activity, including riding a bike, taking a hike, taking a walk, or enjoying parks is all permitted, but everyone is encouraged to maintain at least 6 ft. separation and is encouraged to wear face coverings when near others. It is permissible for people to walk or bike on the Alpine Pedal Path, visit a City park, fish from the shore of the lake, take a stroll through The Village, walk in your neighborhood, etc. - but please BE RESPONSIBLE!

  • Restaurants are still limited to take-out or delivery only. No indoor seating is permitted under the Governor's orders. If patrons order take out, they should not congregate just outside the restaurant to eat, but should instead take the meal home or to another location away from others.

  • Lodging facilities and vacation rentals are not permitted to operate under Governor Newsom's orders. The City remains hopeful that we will again welcome overnight visitors, on a limited basis, in the near future. The City's entire economy is predicated on visitors, and the City is working with local business leaders to welcome visitors back in measured way that keeps our community safe!

  • Entertainment venues are not permitted to operate under the Governor's order. The movie theater, bowling alley, bars, music venues, and other similar operations remain closed. The lake is open for limited boating activities, and the golf course is expected to open late next week.

  • Barber shops, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, and nail salons are not permitted to operate under the Governor's order.

As of now, the Governor continues to manage the COVID-19 issue on a State-wide basis, and the actual circumstances vary considerably in different communities in California, including Big Bear Lake, where 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 City of Big Bear Lake (and San Bernardino County) continue to seek local flexibility to implement our own safe, responsible plans for the reopening of our community. To date, the Governor has established very rigid requirements that seem impossible to meet, but both the City and the County continue to work hard on this issue.
MORE GUIDANCE FOR LODGING, VACATION RENTALS EXPECTED LATER THIS WEEK
In accordance with Governor Newsom's orders, lodging facilities and vacation rentals are still not permitted to operate in California, unless housing "essential workers", COVID-19 patients, or homeless individuals.

The City continues to seek a responsible and measured easing of these restrictions in Big Bear Lake, and continues to work closely with County officials and local business leaders on this issue. The City previously advised lodging facilities and vacation rental managers / owners to block out all dates through at least May 14, and will issue new guidance in the next few days. Additional information will be provided in the City's future COVID-19 updates.
ADDITIONAL, FREQUENT TESTING NOW AVAILABLE IN VICTOR VALLEY
San Bernardino County will launch three testing sites in the Victor Valley area this week. These testing sites are powered through a partnership with the California Department of Public Health and OptumServe. OptumServe is the federal government health services business of Optum, a leading health services innovation company.

State testing is conducted at the following locations in the Victor Valley area, and Big Bear Valley residents may schedule an appointment for testing if needed and convenient:

Victor Valley College
18422 Bear Valley Rd., Victorville
May 11 – 16, 7 am to 7 pm – for the general public

Victorville Activities Center
15075 Hesperia Rd., Victorville
May 11 and 12, 7 am to 7 pm – only for healthcare providers, first responders, and law enforcement
May 13 – 29, Monday through Friday, 7 am. to 7 pm – for the general public

Adelanto Stadium
12000 Stadium Way, Adelanto
May 11 - 29, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 7 pm – for the general public

Testing will be by appointment only for any individuals with or without symptoms of COVID-19 . Appointments can be made by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 1-888-634-1123. Testing is free for all individuals, including those who are uninsured, underinsured, undocumented, or homeless. Individual testing results are confidential.
CITY COUNCIL MEETS IN PERSON TONIGHT, WILL CONSIDER SEVERAL COVID-19 ACTIONS, INCLUDING REOPENING PLAN
The City Council is scheduled to meet tonight 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.
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.
Stay Informed!
Sign up for City of BBL Updates,
Visit Our Other Digital Platforms
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

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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