Update #74
COVID-19 Emergency
June 15, 2020 - 6:30 pm
One New Case Reported in Unincorporated Area

Hospital Bed, Ventilator Data Remain Constant

Special Council Meeting Regarding Fireworks and Trial Street Closure Rescheduled to 5 pm Tuesday

Make Your Appointment NOW for the Big Bear Lake Testing Event on June 19

Approximately 14,000 Free Masks Distributed to Big Bear Lake Businesses

Latest Announcements Mean Essentially All Big Bear Lake Businesses Are Now Approved to Reopen Under Governor's Resilience Roadmap

Vacation Rentals No Longer Limited to "Same Household"
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 now reporting one new case in the unincorporated areas, bringing the total to a total of 11 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley. This new case, along with a new case reported on June 5, is the second new case in the Big Bear Valley since the beginning of May. 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 4 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 7,515 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 89,923 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 8.4% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 228 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 1,213 "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, more than 8 weeks ago, with 451 patients hospitalized. According to the latest County data, there are currently 285 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, there are a total of 101 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. There are currently 129 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County. The number of ICU patients also peaked on April 10, more than 8 weeks ago, with 124 patients in ICU.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, COVID-19 patients are currently utilizing 58 ventilators out of the 808 ventilators in our County. There are a total of 188 ventilators currently being utilized by patients with other ailments, and a total of 562 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 City Council's special meeting to make a final decision on July 4 fireworks, and to also consider a trial closure of Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive in order to promote greater physical distancing in The Village, has been rescheduled for 5 pm on Tuesday, June 16. The City apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this rescheduling.

The meeting will be held in-person at City Hall, and a copy of the agenda and supporting materials may be viewed here. The meeting may be viewed here (click on "Watch Live Video in the top right corner) or on channel 182 beginning at 5 pm on Tuesday.

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 Tuesday, 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 appointment portal for the Big Bear testing event on June 19 is now open, and you can make your appointment by clicking here. The testing event will be held at City Hall between 10 am and 2 pm, and is by appointment only.

The testing event will include both swab tests to determine current infection and antibody tests to determine potential previous exposure to COVID-19. Up to 240 tests will be performed at the Big Bear Lake event on Friday. There is no charge, and those without symptoms may be tested. Face coverings are required!
City staff have delivered more than 14,000 free masks to Big Bear Lake businesses over the past week in an effort to help keep our community SAFE and OPEN ! The mask distribution is a joint effort by the City and Visit Big Bear, and we are grateful for their partnership. The most recent distribution follows the previous distribution of more than 7,000 masks to visitors in The Village in late May and early June.

If you own a business in Big Bear Lake, and did not receive your free masks, please contact City offices at 909-866-5832 or via email and we'll be happy to deliver masks to your business.

The City is pleased to distribute these free masks, and if this effort prevents even one new COVID-19 case in Big Bear then it’s well worth it!   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! 
State officials recently announced that the following types of businesses in Big Bear Lake may now officially operate in accordance with the Governor's Resilience Roadmap, beginning June 12 and June 19:

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

As a result of these recent changes, essentially all businesses in Big Bear Lake are now permitted to operate under the Governor's Resilience Roadmap .

The City encourages all Big Bear Lake businesses to take all appropriate steps to keep your employees, your customers, and our community safe! PLEASE implement appropriate physical distancing, require face coverings, promote good hygiene, implement proper disinfection procedures, and other health and safety measures - help us keep Big Bear Lake SAFE and OPEN !
With the inclusion of vacation rentals as an approved business activity under the Governor's Resilience Roadmap, it is no longer necessary to limit the use of vacation rentals to groups originating from the same household. Vacation rental owners and managers are encouraged to implement proper health and safety measures outlined here.
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.

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 more than 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