Update #75
COVID-19 Emergency
June 17, 2020 - 6:30 pm
Still 11 Confirmed Cases in Big Bear Valley

No Significant Change in Hospital Bed, Ventilator Data

City Council Authorizes July 4 Fireworks Show With Additional Precautions

No Street Closure Planned for The Village at This Time

Face Coverings Strongly Recommended - Help Keep Our Community SAFE and OPEN!

All Appointment Slots Filled for Big Bear Lake Testing Event
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 continues to report a total of 11 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley. There have been 2 new cases in our area since the beginning of May, and we remain 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 8,014 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 95,108 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 8.4% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 229 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, nearly 10 weeks ago, with 451 patients hospitalized. According to the latest County data, there are currently 296 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, there are a total of 95 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. There are currently 149 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County. The number of ICU patients also peaked on April 10, nearly 10 weeks ago, with 124 patients in ICU.

According to the latest San Bernardino County data, COVID-19 patients are currently utilizing 70 ventilators out of the 809 ventilators in our County. There are a total of 190 ventilators currently being utilized by patients with other ailments, and a total of 549 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 conducted a special meeting last night, and voted unanimously to move forward with the July 4 fireworks show in Big Bear Lake. This annual tradition will continue in 2020, however, additional safety measures are being implemented to keep our community safe.

Due to COVID-19, the City and Visit Big Bear have partnered to finance the July 4 fireworks, with significant volunteer assistance provided by the Rotary Club. This year's show is expected to be as spectacular as previous years' shows, but with important modifications:

  • the barge from which the fireworks are launched is being repositioned in the middle of the lake to increase the visibility of the fireworks from more locations around the lake to enable viewers to spread out more,

  • viewers are encouraged to view the fireworks from their home or vehicle to avoid interactions with others,

  • viewers are advised to maintain at least 6 ft. of separation from other groups while viewing the fireworks,

  • viewers should wear face coverings while viewing the fireworks near others,

  • the City and Visit Big Bear will be distributing free face masks to viewers at Rotary Park, Veterans Park, Meadow Park, and The Village, and perhaps additional locations,

  • additional hand washing stations and portable toilets will be in place at Rotary Park, Veterans Park, Meadow Park, and The Village, and perhaps additional locations, and

  • the July 4 fireworks show will be live-streamed on multiple platforms to enable those who are not comfortable venturing out to view the show.

More details will be provided in the next two weeks, and the City will also be considering additional measures to keep our community safe during the fireworks show.

The City has experienced significant visitation in recent weeks, and this high visitation is expected to continue in the coming weeks and months as people seek safe, enjoyable, and nearby recreation and travel opportunities. The City expects a large crowd during the weekend of July 4 regardless of whether or not the July 4 fireworks show is produced, and ultimately, the City is proceeding with the show in order to honor the founding of the United States of America, to give our community something to look forward to and to celebrate, and to maintain this important annual Big Bear tradition.

We look forward to hosting another spectacular July 4 fireworks show in Big Bear Lake, and appreciate everyone's cooperation by adhering to distancing and face covering requirements. Please enjoy the show, but please do so safely and responsibly!
The City Council also considered the potential trial closure of Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive during the entire July 4 holiday weekend (July 3 - 5) at its special meeting last night, but ultimately decided against this strategy at this time. The Council considered allowing pedestrian use only on these streets during the holiday weekend in order to provide additional space for pedestrian movement.

Streets in The Village will continue to function normally during the entire July 4 holiday weekend, however, Pine Knot Avenue will be closed for fireworks viewing beginning at 7 pm on July 4, and will remain closed until after the fireworks show. This short closure is consistent with previous years' fireworks shows.

The City Council continues to consider the street closure strategy, and may revisit this issue at a future City Council meeting.
Essentially all of Big Bear Lake has reopened, and the City is pleased to see our residents and visitors enjoying our beautiful community again, and is pleased to see our businesses thriving again. It's great to be getting back to some sense of normal, however, the COVID-19 threat is still present and all of us need to do our part to prevent additional transmission of COVID-19 in our community. We need your help to keep our community SAFE and OPEN!

The most effective ways for everyone to keep Big Bear SAFE and OPEN are to maintain at least 6 ft. of separation from other groups, wear face coverings while interacting with others (particularly in our businesses!), and practice frequent hand-washing and sanitizing. Although the face coverings may be inconvenient and uncomfortable, the City STRONGLY encourages everyone to use them and STRONGLY encourages all businesses to require them of all patrons entering your business. If a business needs more face masks, please contact the City at 909-866-5832 or via email.

Absolutely no one wants to see Big Bear Lake shut down again, and it's not too much to ask all of our residents, visitors, and businesses to use face coverings! Please do your part!
The City is partnering with San Bernardino County to offer additional COVID-19 swab testing and antibody testing in Big Bear Lake on June 19. This testing is by appointment only, and all appointment slots are now filled. The City will continue to work to schedule additional testing events in the future.
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 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:

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 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
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  • 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