Update #73
COVID-19 Emergency
June 10, 2020 - 5 pm
Still a Total of 10 Confirmed Cases in Big Bear Valley

No Significant Change in Hospital Bed, Ventilator Data in San Bernardino County

City and Visit Big Bear Distributing Free Masks to Big Bear Lake Businesses

City Council to Make Decision on July 4 Fireworks Next Week, Also To Consider Trial Street Closure in The Village

Big Bear Lake Testing Event Scheduled for June 19

More Businesses Approved to Reopen Under Governor's Resilience Roadmap on June 12
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 in Big Bear Lake and the City's response to the COVID-19 event.

This email newsletter is the official guidance from the City of Big Bear Lake, and the City appreciates everyone's adherence to the guidance 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 City Manager Frank Rush at 909-866-5832 or via email.
The City issues these COVID-19 updates periodically as significant or new information emerges. 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!
San Bernardino County is still reporting a total of 10 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley, with no new cases reported since last Friday. Thankfully, the new case reported last Friday is the only new case in the Big Bear Valley since the beginning of May, and we continue to be fortunate to experience a low incidence of COVID-19.

The total cumulative case count now includes 7 reported cases in the City of Big Bear Lake and 3 in unincorporated areas. It is important to note that these are cumulative totals since reporting began in early March, and that most of these individuals have fully recovered by now and have resumed normal activities. Thankfully, there have been no deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.

The County now reports a cumulative total of 6,593 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 79,337 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 8.3% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 225 people have now died from COVID-19 in San Bernardino County.

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 bed 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 1,211 "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 8 weeks ago, with 451 patients hospitalized. According to the latest County data, there are currently 251 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, there are a total of 86 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. There are currently 156 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County. The number of ICU patients also peaked on April 10, approximately 8 weeks ago, with 124 patients in ICU.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, COVID-19 patients are currently utilizing 68 ventilators out of the 793 ventilators in our County. There are a total of 183 ventilators currently being utilized by patients with other ailments, and a total of 542 ventilators remain available. Since April 11, there have never been less than 500 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. It is important to note, however, that any COVID-19 patients would likely be transferred from Bear Valley Community Hospital 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.
The past 3 months have been challenging for everyone, and especially so for the Big Bear Lake business community.  The City of Big Bear Lake and Visit Big Bear are very pleased that nearly all of our businesses have reopened in recent weeks, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help keep our businesses SAFE and OPEN!
To this end, the City of Big Bear Lake and Visit Big Bear (with assistance from the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce and the Interact Club) have distributed free face masks in The Village over the past two weekends. In total, we distributed more than 7,000 masks to our visitors, and if this effort prevented even one new COVID-19 case in Big Bear then it’s well worth it!   In an effort to do even more, and to make it more convenient for our businesses and visitors, the City and Visit Big Bear are now distributing 22,000 free masks to businesses throughout Big Bear Lake to distribute to customers who aren’t already wearing a mask when they enter.

The City of Big Bear Lake has been fortunate to maintain a low incidence of COVID-19, and we need to keep it that way!  The last thing anyone wants is to experience a spike in COVID-19 cases that results in additional business closures mandated by the State or County – so please help us keep our businesses SAFE and OPEN! 
The City Council will conduct a special meeting on Monday, June 15 at 4 pm to make a final decision on July 4 fireworks, and will also consider a trial closure of Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive in order to promote greater physical distancing in The Village.

The City and Visit Big Bear are partnering on the July 4 fireworks display, and the fireworks contract enables the show to be postponed to any date between July 4 and October 31 without penalty. The City has been carefully monitoring the incidence of COVID-19 in our community for the duration of the COVID-19 event, and especially so since visitors began returning to Big Bear Lake in mid-May. The City Council will review the most current data on Monday, and also consider several other factors to determine if the show will be held on July 4 or be rescheduled for later this summer or fall. The Council's decision will be included in future City COVID-19 updates.

City Council will also consider a trial closure of streets in The Village during July 4 weekend. If approved, these streets would be limited to pedestrian use only in order to provide more room for people to spread out while visiting The Village. This trial closure is being considered to enable the City to better assess this strategy for potential expanded use in the future. All streets and parking areas around the perimeter of The Village would remain open, with no more than a 1 block walk from adjacent parking areas into The Village. The Council's decision on this issue will also be communicated in future City COVID-19 updates.
The City continues to work closely with San Bernardino County public health officials, and has scheduled another Big Bear testing event for Friday, June 19. The testing event will include both swab tests to determine current infection and antibody tests to determine potential previous exposure to COVID-19. The testing event will be held at the Big Bear Lake City Hall, and will be by appointment only. Additional details will be announced early next week, including instructions to schedule an appointment.
State officials recently announced that the following types of businesses in Big Bear Lake may officially operate in accordance with the Governor's Resilience Roadmap, beginning June 12:

Specific guidance for each type of business is available by clicking on the links above.

As a result of these changes that are effective June 12, the following types of businesses appear to be the only businesses in Big Bear Lake that would not be permitted to operate under the Governor's Resilience Roadmap: the convention center, music venues, tattoo parlors, and nail salons - until such time that the State authorizes a progression to future stages of the Governor's Resilience Roadmap. The City is hopeful that the State 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 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.
The City remains fully engaged with the Federal, State, and County governments, with other local agencies and our partners in the Big Bear Valley, with the Big Bear business community, and with many others. The City is committed to guiding our community through the COVID-19 event in a safe, fair, and effective manner, and continues to explore every possible strategy to keep our residents safe, promote the economic success of our businesses and residents, and build an even stronger sense of community.

The City will continue to diligently:

  • communicate and coordinate with public health officials and other government officials,

  • track and report any confirmed new COVID-19 cases,

  • track and report any significant changes in hospital and ventilator capacity, both locally and regionally,

  • monitor and communicate any adjustments to the Governor's Resilience Roadmap so that Big Bear businesses have the most current information, in a manner that is specific to Big Bear,

  • promote the use of face coverings, proper physical distancing, and personal hygiene,

  • seek additional COVID-19 testing opportunities for our residents,

  • promote the strategic marketing of our beautiful community to others, to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors AND also ensure a vibrant local economy,

  • share any helpful information to help our businesses recover losses and generate new business activity in the future,

  • seek any and all Federal and State financial assistance to benefit our community, and

  • make any and all necessary strategic adjustments to keep our community safe.

Mayor Herrick, the City Council, the City Manager, and City staff all continue to work hard - for you!. The City continues to seek the proper balance for our community that respects ALL concerns - health, safety, economic, financial, social, mental health, and community - and continues to promote personal responsibility by all.
The City has compiled specific recommendations and resources for our residents, businesses, and visitors, and encourages everyone to diligently implement these recommendations and take advantage of these resources:

The City has provided regular COVID-19 updates for the Big Bear community since mid-March in an effort to keep our residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and residents well-informed about the impact of COVID-19 on our community and the City's response. A total of 73 updates have been provided on almost daily basis - on 73 of the past 91 days.

With the City gradually emerging from the worst impacts of COVID-19 and life transitioning to a new normal, there is not as much new, emerging information to report to our community about the City's COVID-19 response. In light of these positive developments, and to be mindful not to overwhelm our nearly 5,500 subscribers with repetitive emails, the City is now adjusting the frequency of COVID-19 updates. The City will now only issue COVID-19 updates as new information emerges that is specific to and helpful to the residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and residents of Big Bear Lake. The specific timing of new COVID-19 updates will depend on the substance and urgency of the information, and the City remains committed to keeping our community well-informed.

The City expects to issue new updates at least once or twice per week going forward, but will absolutely adjust this schedule and provide more frequent information as warranted. If there are several days with especially important or helpful information, the COVID-19 updates will be issued every day. If several days go by, with no significant new information, no COVID-19 update will be issued.

The City's subscribers are directed to simply refer to the most recent COVID-19 update issued by the City and delivered to your email inbox. Additionally, the most recent COVID-19 update will be posted prominently on the City's website , and also included on the City's various social media accounts (listed below). Additionally, please feel free to email any specific questions to City Manager Frank Rush or call City Hall at 909-866-5831.
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