Update #6 COVID-19 Threats
March 19, 2020 - 5 pm
Visitors Encouraged to Postpone Visits to Big Bear Lake During COVID-19 Threat

Mayor Herrick Urges Big Bear Lake Community to Take Necessary Precautions

Assistance Available for Businesses and Displaced Employees
City officials continue to closely monitor 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.

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, property owners, investors, businesses, and visitors in our community have the correct information about the status of COVID-19 threats in BBL 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 at https://www.citybigbearlake.com/index.php/newsroom/text-email-notifications . PLEASE share this email newsletter with anyone and everyone, as we want to reach as many people as possible with this information. Thank you!

VISITORS ENCOURAGED TO POSTPONE VISITS TO BIG BEAR LAKE DURING COVID-19 THREAT
Earlier today, Visit Big Bear, the valley’s tourism promotion agency, issued the following statement encouraging visitors to postpone their trip to Big Bear Lake until the COVID-19 crisis has abated. T he City appreciates Visit Big Bear’s concern for our community well-being, and fully supports this directive.  Working together, we can abate this crisis sooner rather than later, keep our residents and property owners safe, and restore the local economy for our entire community’s benefit.  
  
“We're asking anyone who is not a resident or property-owner of Big Bear Lake or providing essential services to our residents to POSTPONE your immediate visit to Big Bear Lake for the time being . Like many small mountain communities, our healthcare system would be taxed with a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. 
 
With our close proximity to several major urban population centers, we know that Big Bear will seem like an attractive place to practice social distancing in the outdoors. We also fully understand the inclination to seek escape in the outdoors during difficult times, but the reality is that doing so right now risks the lives of our residents and puts undue strain on our critical services.
 
Additionally, services and activities are currently extremely limited. Big Bear Mountain Resort (Bear Mountain and Snow Summit), Big Bear Snow Play and restaurants (excluding takeout services), bars and other public spaces are temporarily closed due to county-mandated health orders. Public gatherings have also been prohibited by the local, county and state government.
 
Like many communities whose lifeblood is travel and tourism this is a hard message for us to send and runs counter to the very reason our organization exists: to welcome visitors to Big Bear Lake. We know how many of you cherish Big Bear Lake and the natural areas that surround it, but we ask you to respect our community and this request to stay home for now
 
Keep in mind the people of Big Bear Lake and the natural areas that surround it —a short drive away—will be welcoming you back with open (perhaps appropriately distanced) arms . If we all work together to do the right thing during this public health crisis today then tomorrow will come faster.
 
For additional information from local health organizations, visit the Big Bear Lake COVID-19 resources page at https://www.bigbear.com/
 
We appreciate your understanding as we navigate this challenging time.”

Although this directive is not an official order, and travel to and from Big Bear Lake is not restricted at this time, the City encourages all visitors to postpone your trip to a later date when you can fully enjoy all of the great recreational, dining, and shopping opportunities in and around Big Bear Lake. We'll be back stronger than ever after the COVID-19 threat has passed, and we look forward to hosting you as soon as it's safe for you, your family, and our community.

Visitors with existing reservations should coordinate with your lodging provider to reschedule your visit.

MAYOR HERRICK URGES BIG BEAR LAKE COMMUNITY TO TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
Mayor Rick Herrick issued the following statement this afternoon:

"There are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley and very few reported in our county, but with that said we can’t be cavalier or assume that Big Bear is free of the coronavirus. It is best to assume that we have undetected cases here, even if later we determine that the bullet was dodged. You may be asking why I would make this statement; you see, we don’t have a method to isolate or inoculate ourselves. I support Visit Big Bear's recent statement that encourages visitors to delay their visit to Big Bear. Realize that Visit Big Bear’s mission is to increase tourism, but they also recognize we are a small and tight knit community. With that said, my advice is simple: assume that the threat is imminent and that our exposure is no less or no more than any other city in Southern California. And please practice social distancing, wash your hands, if you are sick call your doctor and if you need to visit our local rural hospital, call ahead. Our resolve has been previously tested by major wildland fires, severe earthquakes, and lengthy droughts. We can and we will get through this together. Please help minimize the health risks to yourself and the community and if you do that, you can also minimize the inevitable economic fallout. And by all means please support our local businesses whenever possible." 

PLEASE HEED PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS AND AVOID INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS
The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community is to limit your interactions with others to the maximum extent practical. PLEASE only interact for essential tasks, including work, shopping, and essential business activities so that we can protect our most vulnerable residents' health and resolve this public health and economic crisis as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the economic damage caused by COVID-19 is already severe, and there will likely be negative economic consequences for many in our community. At this point in time, it is in the Big Bear Lake community's interest for the COVID-19 threat to pass as quickly as possible, and the best way to expedite the passing of COVID-19 is to prevent continued transmission. Limiting your interactions with others is the best strategy to help keep Big Bear Lake's status of "no cases" intact and promote the fastest resolution of any cases that we may ultimately report in Big Bear Lake.

PLEASE ACT RESPONSIBLY for yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your community!

RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR BIG BEAR LAKE
In accordance with San Bernardino County public health orders, the following restrictions remain in effect in the City of Big Bear Lake:

  • Non-essential group gatherings of any size are prohibited. This restriction includes commercial establishments, churches, community groups, and other formal and informal group activities. It does not apply to work activities, retail shopping activities, and grocery shopping activities.

  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys, and other similar businesses may not operate.

  • Restaurants must follow State guidelines, and should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining. Take-out and delivery services are encouraged.

  • Individuals age 65 and older and those with special vulnerability to COVID-19 should remain at home.

NO ADDITIONAL CASES CONFIRMED IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY TODAY;
FORTUNATELY STILL NO CASES IN BIG BEAR LAKE
San Bernardino County public health officials continue to report a total of 5 confirmed COVID-19 cases. All five individuals have been quarantined and treated appropriately. Fortunately, there are still no confirmed cases in Big Bear Lake, and City officials continue to monitor, plan, and prepare for that potential.

CITY REVIEWING REVENUE PROJECTIONS, IDENTIFYING NECESSARY BUDGET REDUCTIONS
In addition to the significant economic impact on our businesses and residents, the City is expecting a significant reduction in operating revenues for the remainder of FY 19-20 (ends June 30) and likely in FY 20-21 (begins July 1).

City staff are forecasting a loss of up to $800,000 of transient occupancy tax and sales tax revenues over the rest of this fiscal year, and City officials are carefully reviewing FY 19-20 expenditures to identify prudent budget reductions and delay capital improvements. With careful planning, fiscal discipline, and as a result of the City's current overall solid financial position, we believe the City will be able maintain its overall fiscal health, and be well-positioned to serve our community in the future.

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR BIG BEAR LAKE BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

City staff are building relationships with SBA officials, and are available to assist impacted Big Bear Lake businesses navigate the SBA process. For assistance, please contact Christine Bennett, Senior Administrative Services Analyst, at 909-866-5831 or cbennett@citybigbearlake.com .

The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce is also willing to assist impacted businesss, and can be reached at 909-866-4607, or by contacting Ellen Clarke, Executive Director, at execdir@bigbearchamber.com .

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR DISPLACED EMPLOYEES
Local employees displaced due to the impact of COVID-19 may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance, and/or paid family leave through the California Employment Development Department. To learn more, please visit https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm .

NEED HELP WITH DAILY ERRANDS? BIG BEAR INTERACT CLUB AVAILABLE TO ASSIST SENIORS
The Big Bear Interact Club, a youth organization sponsored by the Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake, is available to assist senior citizens who are sheltered-in-place with grocery shopping and other daily errands. To learn more about the services offered by these dedicated Big Bear high school students, please contact advisor Julan n Warren at 562-335-9339.

CITY HALL REMAINS OPEN, BUT APPOINTMENTS REQUIRED TO CONDUCT CITY BUSINESS
City Hall remains open, and City officials continue to explore opportunities to continue high quality service while allowing some City employees to work from home.

In an effort to promote both your safety and our employees' safety, individuals who need to conduct business with the City should first call or email the appropriate City staff to make an appointment. Efforts will be made to provide service over the telephone or electronically, and if face-to-face contact is required then the appropriate City staff member will schedule an immediate appointment at City Hall. To contact City staff, please call 909-866-5831 or email the appropriate City staff member indicated at https://www.citybigbearlake.com/ .

The City accepts online payments, and these can be conducted by visiting https://trx.npspos.com/payapp/public/ECSale.html?siteId=14351&urlKey=00f9459f858813278dfbd5e4393ce1bc1780f793 .

The Department of Water and Power is also limiting public interaction, and payments can be made at their drop box, by phone, and online. Please visit https://www.bbldwp.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=144 for more information.

OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES
The Centers for Disease Control website includes a wealth of information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html .

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health includes information specific to our county at http://wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/coronavirus/ .
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 https://www.citybigbearlake.com/ 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!
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