Update #8 COVID-19 Threats
March 21, 2020 - 12 noon
First Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Big Bear Lake is Mayor Rick Herrick

"Shelter in Place" Order Remains In Effect, With Exceptions

Please Act Responsibly, and Help Us All End This Crisis Sooner Rather Than Later!
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.
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 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.
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!
The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Big Bear Lake. Mayor Rick Herrick was tested on Thursday, and received a positive test result late Friday evening. Thankfully, Mayor Herrick is doing reasonably well and is expected to fully recover, and sends along this important message to the entire Big Bear community:

"The time has come to announce that we have the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.  I was tested after a week of self-quarantine following what has felt like a bout with the flu. The results concluded that I’ve contracted the coronavirus, the first confirmed case in Big Bear. This is not the announcement that I imagined, but I hope that by going public on what is normally a private, HIPAA-type subject can be a learning moment for our tight-knit community. 

A week ago, when the first twinge of illness struck me, I followed orders and stayed at home. Although this was not fun or easy, I knew that I was fighting something off and I didn’t need to expose myself to others regardless of the illness. So I worked from home and kept my distance from my wife, frequently washed my hands, used sanitation wipes and hand sanitizer, all while remaining in self-quarantine.  My symptoms have been relatively mild. I had a waning, low-grade fever, some chest pressure, achiness, and fatigue. It was like the flu but very different at the same time. I’m sure that this novel coronavirus is being carefully studied for cures and patterns, and that the medical world will learn a lot as more data streams in.    
The message I need to convey is to heed the warnings from the World Health Organization as well as from our local public health officials.  I am proud to say that our City has been proactive along with our County and State. With that said, it is obvious that this virus is very new and very contagious.  Please remember that it’s never too late to protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, and our community.  
  • If you feel the slightest onset of illness, stay at home and call your doctor’s office.

  • Do not go to the local emergency room without calling ahead so they can evaluate your symptoms over the phone.

  • If you are not sick, stay at home as much as possible and practice social distancing.

  • Encourage your friends and family to do the same.  

  • The sooner that we collectively can conquer this disease, the sooner we can get our lives back to a regular routine. 
Remember that tens of thousands of people will suffer from this pandemic.  Some may lose their jobs, others will have difficulty paying bills or keeping employees, rent payments may be late, and banks may suffer delinquencies, but those problems pale to the much deeper losses others will no doubt suffer.  For now I will conduct my business, including my community and Mayor duties, from home and I will recover to fight another day. And I believe that this type of worldwide catastrophe can bring out the best in mankind - and right now we need THAT to "go viral".

All of us at the City of Big Bear Lake wish Mayor Herrick a speedy recovery! Mayor Herrick has been and remains fully engaged in the City's response to the COVID-19 threats in our community, and now offers an even more unique perspective on the City's response.

Mayor Herrick has been self-quarantined for more than a week now, and is the 10th confirmed case of COVID-19 in San Bernardino County. Mayor Herrick has had limited exposure to other City officials, and no other City officials are symptomatic at this time. Mayor Herrick has been under self-quarantine for more than a week now, but anyone who had contact with Mayor Herrick earlier may call the San Bernardino County Public Health Department Operations Center for advice at 800-782-4264, option #6.

It was expected that Big Bear Lake would ultimately have confirmed cases of COVID-19 due to the rapid spread of the virus across the United States. With the continued improvements in COVID-19 testing, it is expected that the number of confirmed cases will continue to increase all over the United States, including Big Bear Lake. The public should recognize this fact, should not panic, and should continue to be vigilant in adhering to "shelter in place" orders, practicing effective social distancing, and maintaining good personal hygiene.

Together, we will all get through this and Big Bear Lake will bounce back better than ever!
In response to Governor Newsom's "shelter in place" order and the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Big Bear Lake, the City has adjusted its operations to essential services and essential personnel only. City staff will continue to maintain critical infrastructure and perform essential services, however, other services will be temporarily suspended.

The City will continue to provide the following essential services while the COVID-19 threats persist:

  • COVID-19 emergency response,

  • COVID-19 public communications,

  • law enforcement (through SB County Sheriff's Department),

  • fire suppression and emergency medical services (through the Big Bear Fire Department),

  • snow removal,

  • public water supply (through the DWP),

  • wastewater collection,

  • solid waste collection (through Big Bear Disposal),

  • City buildings and facilities maintenance,

  • building inspections, and

  • critical street maintenance.

City Hall remains open for essential services and essential personnel, and essential City staff are available for telephone - (909) 866-5832 - and email inquiries.

The City will resume normal operations after the COVID-19 threat has passed.
Governor Newsom issued a state-wide "shelter in place" order late on March 19, and has directed everyone to remain at home in an effort to discourage further community transmission of COVID-19. Governor Newsom's order includes several exceptions for various business activities, and these restrictions are similar to the restrictions in place in San Bernardino County and Big Bear Lake for the past several days. As such, the City's guidance on permitted and prohibited activities is as follows:
  • everyone in Big Bear Lake is directed to "shelter in place", especially those age 65 and older and those who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, however, travel is permitted for work and to conduct personal business,
  • grocery stores, drug stores, and other essential retail and service businesses may operate,
  • construction and repair activities may continue,
  • bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys, ski areas, snow play areas, and other similar businesses may not operate,
  • restaurants are closed for in-restaurant seated dining, however, take-out and delivery services are permitted,
  • lodging and vacation rentals may continue to operate, however, visitors are encouraged to postpone visits to Big Bear Lake during the COVID-19 threat, and any current visitors here must "shelter in place",
  • non-essential group gatherings of any size are prohibited, including commercial establishments, churches, community groups, and other formal and informal group activities, and
  • isolated, outdoor exercise is permitted, including walking your dog.
The City is seeking additional clarification from State and County public health officials regarding the Governor's order, and will adjust this guidance as needed in future COVID-19 updates provided by the City of Big Bear Lake.
The Big Bear Lake community has already experienced severe economic harm as a result of COVID-19, and now has its first confirmed case. At this point, the most important tasks at hand for our community are to prevent further transmission, eliminate the occurrence of COVID-19 in our community, and get back to normal as soon as possible! You can do your part by limiting your interactions with others to the maximum extent practical, practicing effective social distancing, and maintaining good personal hygiene.

Let's get this done, keep our residents safe, and get back to normal!

PLEASE ACT RESPONSIBLY for yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your community!
The California Grocers Association has indicated that the supply chain is strong, and that there are plenty of groceries and other household supplies for everyone! Please maintain your normal consumption patterns and only buy what you need for the foreseeable future. Be a good neighbor - there's enough for everyone!
Although travel to and from Big Bear Lake is not restricted, the City and Visit Big Bear encourage 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. With the "shelter in place" order in effect in Big Bear Lake, it's simply not the best time to be visiting 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.
The presence of COVID-19 has raised concerns about the proper disposal of materials that may be exposed to the virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends routine procedures for managing solid waste potentially exposed to COVID-19, and the City urges everyone to follow these recommendations. 
Cleaning and disinfecting activities in homes, businesses, and other non-healthcare locations (such as hotels, schools, and other facilities) will generate solid waste, including used facemasks, gloves, disposable wipes, paper towels, disposal clothing, and similar materials potentially exposed to the virus. 
As a general rule, treat personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfection waste, and other materials that may have been exposed to the virus as general solid waste. This material, however, should be sealed in a trash bag, tied shut, and placed with regular trash. These materials will be collected by City's franchisee, Big Bear Disposal, and transferred to transfer stations or directly trucked for disposal. The sealed trash bags will ultimately be disposed of in landfills that are permitted to accept municipal solid waste. Please also note that disposable wipes and paper towels should not be flushed down the toilet, and should be discarded as general solid waste.
Please help us keep our solid waste collection employees safe!
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 .
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 .
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