Update #68
COVID-19 Emergency
May 28, 2020 - 4 pm
No New Confirmed Cases in Big Bear for Past 20 Days

No Significant Change in Hospitalizations, Ventilator Use

COVID-19 Testing Readily Available in San Bernardino County

Please Get Tested if You Have These COVID-19 Symptoms

Help us Keep Big Bear Lake OPEN! City Encourages EVERYONE to Wear Face Coverings When Interacting With Others

City, Visit Big Bear, and Chamber Partner to Provide Face Masks in The Village
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!
According to San Bernardino County, there are still a total of 9 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley, including 6 in the City of Big Bear Lake and 3 in unincorporated areas outside the City limits. There have been only 2 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley in the past month, and 0 new cases in the past 20 days. It is also important to note that many of the 9 confirmed cases have fully recovered, and have resumed normal activities.

The County reports a total of 4,914 confirmed cases in San Bernardino County. A total of 57,385 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 8.6% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 190 people have now died from COVID-19 in San Bernardino County. Thankfullly, there are still 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.
Thankfully, the health care systems in both the Big Bear Valley and San Bernardino County have maintained sufficient hospital and ventilator availability for the duration of the COVID-19 event.

There are approximately 6,000 hospital beds in San Bernardino County, and it is also important to note that the County has specifically identified 1,129 "surge capacity" beds (the number of additional beds a hospital could provide if all available space was needed) in response to the COVID-19 event. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in San Bernardino County peaked on April 10, approximately 7 weeks ago, with 451 patients hospitalized. According to the latest County data, there are currently 279 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, there are a total of 76 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. There are currently 237 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County. The number of ICU patients also peaked on April 10, approximately 7 weeks ago, with 124 patients in ICU.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, COVID-19 patients are currently utilizing 54 ventilators out of the 839 ventilators in our County. There are a total of 211 ventilators currently being utilized by patients with other ailments, and a total of 574 ventilators remain available. Since May 1, there have never been less than 541 ventilators available in San Bernardino County.

Thankfully, Bear Valley Community Hospital and Big Bear Fire / EMS officials continue to experience manageable patient loads and call volumes. Bear Valley Community Hospital is equipped with more than 30 hospital beds and 7 ventilators, but it is important to note that any COVID-19 patients would likely be transferred to larger hospitals in San Bernardino County (perhaps Loma Linda, Arrowhead, or others) where more specialized care is available. Thus, it is critically important for the City to monitor overall trends in San Bernardino County.
COVID-19 testing is now readily available in many locations in San Bernardino County, and a complete list of testing sites, hours, and instructions is located here. Big Bear Lake residents are eligible for testing at any of these locations.

The next closest testing event to Big Bear Lake is happening this Saturday in Lake Arrowhead. The County is sponsoring a drive-thru test site this Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at Mountains Community Hospital. Anyone can be tested, even if there are no COVID-19 symptoms evident. An appointment is required, and can be scheduled by clicking here.

The City continues efforts to schedule antibody testing in Big Bear Lake. City staff continue to work with public health officials to offer this testing at City Hall in mid-June, and additional information will be included in future City COVID-19 updates.

With communities all over California reopening, including Big Bear Lake, it is more important than ever to quickly identify COVID-19 cases and take appropriate steps to quarantine infected individuals and engage in contract tracing as quickly as possible. With COVID-19 testing now readily available, the City e ncourages EVERYONE with potential COVID-19 symptoms to get tested immediately.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, p eople with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus , and may include:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

If you have one or more of these symptoms, please call your medical provider or visit one of the County's COVID-19 test sites as soon as possible. It's in your best interest, your family's best interest, and our community's best interest to diagnose any new cases as quickly as possible.
The City of Big Bear Lake is focused on making sure our community continues to experience a low incidence of COVID-19. One way we can all help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wear face coverings when interacting with others. We get it - the face coverings can be uncomfortable, unnatural, and some question their effectiveness or need - but they are one of the easiest protection measures to implement, and far more preferable than shutting down our entire community again!

Face coverings are more important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from you to others, especially if you are not exhibiting symptoms and don't know you're carrying the virus. The face covering reduces the likelihood that droplets containing the virus make it out of you and into the air near others, and wearing a face covering shows that YOU CARE about others around you. PLEASE do your part by ALWAYS wearing a face covering when interacting with others!

To clarify, in Big Bear Lake:

  • face coverings are not required, but are highly recommended for use by EVERYONE while interacting with others - indoors and outdoors,

  • face coverings should be worn by all employees of businesses operating in Big Bear Lake to demonstrate to our residents and visitors that we care about their safety, and to comply with official guidelines,

  • the City specifically requests that ALL of our businesses implement a policy whereby customers may not enter the business if they are not wearing a face covering; many official guidelines require customers to wear face coverings, many businesses are already doing this, and we now need ALL businesses to do their part,

  • face coverings should be worn by all residents to show our neighbors that we care about their safety, and to prevent us from unknowingly spreading the virus to our visitors,

  • face coverings should be worn by all visitors to Big Bear Lake to prevent the spread of the virus from their home communities to our community.

Given the alternative of shutting everything down again, it's not too much to ask our residents, businesses, and visitors to wear face coverings. Show others that you care about their safety and well-being, and PLEASE wear face coverings any time you come within 6 feet of others - period!

As Mayor Rick Herrick notes, "We are living in interesting times and with each new day we need to adjust to new orders and new realities which can be confusing or seem contradictory.  As Mayor, I am asking that we set the right tone for our residents and our visitors by practicing social distancing, proper hygiene and wearing face coverings while shopping or encountering non-family members in public.  Face coverings are the most visual indicator that we care about your health . Please join me along with our City Council, community leaders, our houses of worship, our stores, and restaurants by creating a space where residents and visitors can feel confident that we are doing our part to curtail COVID-19."

Thank you for EVERYONE'S cooperation!
The City of Big Bear Lake, Visit Big Bear, and the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce are partnering together this weekend to offer face masks to any visitors in The Village that don't already have a face covering. Face mask booths will be set up in two locations, one on Pine Knot Drive and one on Village Drive, to educate our visitors about safe practices and distribute masks. Booths will be manned from 10 am - 5 pm on May 30 and 31.

The City encourages all businesses to require face coverings in order to enter your establishment!

Fortunately, Big Bear Lake has remained one of the safest places anywhere throughout the COVID-19 event, and the City is working hard with our partners to keep it that way!

There has been and remains a low incidence of COVID-19 in our community, the local and regional health care systems have and continue to maintain adequate capacity, we enjoy relative isolation from other more densely developed areas in Southern California, and we are blessed to live in a beautiful natural environment where it's a bit easier to keep your distance from others! People come to Big Bear to get away from it all and enjoy the outdoors, and these activities naturally keep us healthier and spaced further apart.

The City continues to work closely with Visit Big Bear, the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, San Bernardino County, and other local government partners in the Big Bear Valley to keep our community safe as our businesses reopen and more visitors return to this special place. The City is committed to keeping our community well-informed, continuously monitoring the COVID-19 experience in Big Bear Lake, making improvements and adjustments where needed, promoting safe practices by our businesses, and promoting responsible behavior by our visitors.

We've all worked hard for the past 10+ weeks to keep our community safe, and that hard work clearly paid off. The hard work continues, however, and will likely get harder as we all seek to make up for lost time, recover lost business activity, and fight the urge to become complacent. The reality is that it's even more important now for EVERYONE to do their part to keep COVID-19 out of Big Bear Lake! We need cooperation from EVERYONE - our residents, businesses, and visitors - to keep Big Bear Lake SAFE and keep Big Bear Lake OPEN!

With businesses finally reopening in the Big Bear Valley, the City encourages ALL businesses to diligently implement the following:

  • require all customers to wear face coverings in order to enter your establishment,

  • require all employees to wear face coverings and other appropriate PPE,

  • consistently maintain at least 6 feet of separation between all customers and employees, and make sure staff is available to educate customers about the need for proper separation,

  • provide hand sanitizer stations and/or hand washing stations at the entrance, and promote good hygiene, and

  • thoughtfully consider your neighbors, the residents of our community, who may have valid and continuing fears of COVID-19, and try to understand this issue from their perspective.

Big Bear businesses are encouraged to download the attached flyer and post in multiple visible locations to provide a constant reminder!
From a practical standpoint, Governor Newsom's actions in recent days now allow most businesses (including churches) in Big Bear Lake to operate in compliance with the Governor's Resilience Roadmap .

The following types of businesses appear to be the only businesses in Big Bear Lake that are not permitted to operate at this time under the Governor's Resilience Roadmap: traditional lodging facilities, the movie theater, the bowling alley, the convention center, gyms and fitness centers, bars, music venues, tattoo parlors, and nail salons - until such time that the Governor authorizes a progression to future stages of the Governor's Resilience Roadmap. The City is hopeful that the Governor will officially lift these restrictions in the near future, as there do not appear to be any greater health risks associated with the operation of these businesses than other permitted businesses IF appropriate health and safety measures are implemented.

The City encourages all businesses to implement appropriate measures to promote the health and safety of employees, patrons, and our residents. The City continues to encourage all businesses not currently permitted to operate under the Governor's Resilience Roadmap to take responsibility for their own actions, thoughtfully consider the Governor’s orders and the risks associated with their specific circumstances (including health, legal, financial, and licensing), and act accordingly.  Risks of reopening certain businesses contrary to the Governor’s orders might include loss of State licenses applicable to certain businesses, among others. As communicated previously, the City no longer intends to take enforcement action with regard to the Governor's orders. 

In order to eliminate confusion for our business owners, the City advises all City businesses to adhere to business-specific guidance included in the Governor's Resilience Roadmap when reopening:

  • Childcare facilities - click here

  • Churches and other places of worship - click here

  • Construction businesses - click here

  • Delivery services - click here

  • Hair salons and beauty shops - click here

  • Offices - click here

  • Real estate transactions - click here

  • Restaurants - click here

  • Retail establishments - click here

  • Service industries - click here

  • Shopping centers - click here

Specific questions or complaints regarding business-specific guidance should be directed to the  Governor’s office and/or the California Department of Public Health.
San Bernardino County is helping small businesses operate safely and stay open through its new COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program.

Funding is available to businesses who enforce physical distancing, require customers and employees to wear face coverings, and practice prudent hygiene. Small businesses can receive up to $2,500 to implement these measures .

Big Bear businesses can learn more and apply here.
If you are a resident of Big Bear Lake, the City encourages you to remain vigilant, and adhere to the following recommendations:

  • the most vulnerable members of our community should continue to take special precautions, and limit interactions with others to the maximum extent practical.

  • all individuals should carry face coverings on their person, for use during all interactions with others,

  • all individuals should maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others whenever possible,

  • all individuals should wash your hands frequently, and/or use hand sanitizer whenever it's not possible to wash your hands,

  • all individuals should avoid touching your face,

  • all individuals should cover your cough or sneeze,

  • if you experience COVID-19 symptoms, get tested as soon as possible,

  • if you do travel off the mountaintop, or out of the area, be especially vigilant so you don't contract the virus and return to Big Bear Lake, and

  • importantly, consider the needs of our local business owners and their employees (your neighbors!), and understand the need for our community to get back to work so that we can remain a vibrant, attractive, and cohesive community!
The City, our businesses, and our residents have all worked hard for the past 10 weeks+ to keep our community safe, and we're pleased to be one of the safest places anywhere.

We truly want others to enjoy this special place, and we welcome our visitors' significant contributions to our community. We do, however, need ALL visitors to respect our community, act responsibly, and be especially mindful of our COVID-19 concerns. The City asks ALL visitors to adhere to the following:

  • if you are not feeling well, please stay away!

  • enjoy Big Bear Lake with your immediate family or immediate household, and please don't organize large gatherings or parties in Big Bear Lake (note: vacation rentals are permitted, but are limited to members of the same immediate household),

  • whenever possible, please patronize our local restaurants who are eager to serve you, and also bring supplies from your home community,

  • respect our permanent residents, and act responsibly in and around our community - the same way you'd want visitors to behave in your community,

  • consider the fact that you may unknowingly be carrying COVID-19 from your home community, and take appropriate precautions to help keep our community safe so we may continue to welcome visitors in the future,

  • carry face coverings at all times, and use them during all interactions with others,

  • always maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others whenever possible, and

  • wash your hands frequently, and/or use hand sanitizer whenever it's not possible to wash your hands,
The City and Visit Big Bear have partnered this year to produce the annual July 4 fireworks show, and we look forward to continuing this great annual tradition!

As of now, the July 4 fireworks show is still on! We continue to monitor COVID-19 conditions in Big Bear Lake, and continue to monitor applicable COVID-19 restrictions. We should know by mid or late June if the show will be postponed, and additional information will be included in future City COVID-19 updates as we get closer to July 4.

The City and Visit Big Bear continue to contemplate various strategies to offer the July 4 fireworks in a safe manner, and will include recommendations for viewing the fireworks in future City COVID-19 updates.

The City / Visit Big Bear contract includes a clause allowing the City to postpone and reschedule the fireworks show for any date prior to October 31, and this clause will be exercised if ultimately necessary.

Again, as of now, we are still planning for fireworks on July 4! Stay tuned!

The City has maintained operations throughout the COVID-19 event, but has required City customers to either conduct business online or via telephone, or to schedule an appointment for in-person visits.

Walk-in customers are again welcome at City Hall, and we look forward to serving you! Face coverings are required to enter City Hall, and hand sanitizer is available upon entrance. Please maintain at least 6 ft. of separation from other City customers and City employees.
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 event - 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
  • Follow us on Instagram - @citybigbearlake
  • 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