Update #82
COVID-19 Emergency
July 3, 2020 - 5:30 pm
JULY 4 FIREWORKS POSTPONED

Statement from Mayor Herrick Regarding July 4 Fireworks

No New Cases Reported for Big Bear Valley Today

Hospitalizations Continue to Increase in San Bernardino County

Other Than Closing Down (We Don't Want That!), the Only Tools We Have Are Physical Distancing, Face Coverings, and Good Hygiene! PLEASE Do Your Part!

COVID-19 Data Over 4 Months

2017 Big Bear Fireworks To Be Broadcast at 9 pm on July 4

Personal Fireworks Are Illegal!

City, Visit Big Bear, Interact Club Partner to Distribute Free Masks in The Village This Weekend
THIS IS THE OFFICIAL COVID-19 GUIDANCE FROM THE CITY OF BIG BEAR LAKE
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!
JULY 4 FIREWORKS POSTPONED
The City has postponed the July 4 fireworks, in response to the recent escalation of the COVID-19 threat in Southern California. The fireworks show will be rescheduled for later this summer or fall if / when the COVID-19 threat has subsided and it is again possible to present this great annual Big Bear tradition in a safe manner. The City is disappointed that it will not be possible to have the fireworks show on July 4, but believes it is in the best interest of our residents, businesses, and visitors to postpone the show.

The City Council authorized the July 4 fireworks show at a special meeting on June 16, at which time the COVID-19 threat was consistently decreasing and there was abundant hospital capacity in Southern California. Unfortunately, circumstances have changed quickly and significantly over the past 17 days, and current circumstances are not conducive to a safe, enjoyable show in Big Bear Lake. Additionally, Governor Newsom has encouraged all July 4 fireworks shows in certain counties, including San Bernardino County, to cancel or postpone - and the City concurs with this directive.

The new fireworks date will not be set for several weeks, and the City will continue to monitor the COVID-19 threat in order to determine if / when the show can occur. The new date will be announced in a future City COVID-19 update.
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR HERRICK REGARDING JULY 4 FIREWORKS
Mayor Herrick issued the following statement following the City's decision to postpone the July 4 fireworks show:

"I have never shied away from discussing or making difficult decisions on any number of issues that affect our communities. But when it came to July 4th this year, a clear pathway was not easy to find. The 4th of July holiday usually brings perfect weather combined with friends and family gathered for food and festivities followed by a world class fireworks show over the lake. At times when we seem to be fractured, this one evening, in my opinion, has mended divides with feelings of happiness and patriotism. 

To say I am very disappointed our fireworks show has been postponed is not an understatement but, in the same breath, I believe that, for me, it was the right decision. In my opinion, in order to have a successful event we need to have a safe program and offer a quality and positive experience. Initially, I felt that with precautions, we could be safe and still offer a good experience while boosting our tourist based economy. But, just 5 days ago, the evidence began to stack up against the positive outcome I have envisioned. What began to surface was a COVID-19 spike combined with fireworks show cancellations and beach closures which left me considering that the July 4th experience in Big Bear could be problematic for residents, second home owners, and visitors. In addition, our economy has recently benefited from “Urban COVID-19 Cabin Fever” as many families have escaped city stresses in exchange for a quiet rural setting. This economic boost may not be sustainable but rescheduling to a date when an economic boost is mostly welcomed should largely benefit our region. 

For these reasons I am confident the postponement of the fireworks show was the right decision. We are free to disagree with each other and, after all, isn't that what freedom is all about and a poignant reason as to why we celebrate on July 4th. God bless our wonderful communities and, please, God bless the United States of America. Have a great July 4th and we will all get through this together."
NO NEW CASES REPORTED FOR BIG BEAR VALLEY TODAY
No new COVID-19 cases were reported for the Big Bear Valley today, thankfully.

According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have been a total of 6 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley since early May. A total of 9 confirmed cases were reported between mid-March and early May, and it is believed that all of these cases have now recovered.

The total cumulative case count now includes 9 reported cases in the City of Big Bear Lake and 6 in unincorporated areas (15 total cases). Thankfully, there have been no deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.

The County now reports a cumulative total of 13,676 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 151,269 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 9.0% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 269 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.
HOSPITALIZATIONS CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Because any COVID-19 patients from the Big Bear Valley would likely be treated by other, larger hospitals in San Bernardino County, City officials continue to closely monitor hospitalization and ventilator data in the entire County. Thankfully, there has been sufficient capacity in San Bernardino County hospitals throughout the COVID-19 event, however, hospitalizations have increased by 80% since June 16, and continue to increase. Although there is still sufficient hospital capacity in our County, the increases are very concerning for County and City officials.

According to the latest County data, there are currently 516 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. This is now the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in San Bernardino County since the COVID-19 event began. To put this in perspective, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients previously peaked at 451 patients on April 10, and then dropped to 196 patients by May 15. On June 16, there were a total of 293 patients hospitalized in our County.

According to the latest County data, there are now a total of 170 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. This is the highest reported number of ICU patients with suspected or confirmed cases during the COVID-19 event, eclipsing the April 10 total of 124 patients. There are now a total of 342 patients in ICU in our County for other (non-COVID-19) reasons, and there are now only a total of 95 intensive care beds available in San Bernardino County. To put this in perspective, there were a total of 61 intensive care beds available on April 16, a total of 168 intensive care beds available on May 16, and 156 intensive care beds available on June 16.

Fortunately, ventilator availability remains high in our County. According to the latest County data, COVID-19 patients are currently utilizing 108 ventilators out of the 805 ventilators in our County. There are a total of 195 ventilators currently being utilized by patients with other ailments, and a total of 502 ventilators remain available. Since April 11, there have never been less than 500 ventilators available in San Bernardino County.
OTHER THAN CLOSING DOWN (WE DON'T WANT THAT!), THE ONLY TOOLS WE HAVE ARE PHYSICAL DISTANCING, FACE COVERINGS, AND GOOD HYGIENE! PLEASE DO YOUR PART!
Governor Newsom recently implemented new restrictions in many counties, including San Bernardino County, in an effort to curtail the increasing spread of COVID-19 in Southern California. Collectively, we've all got to find a way to significantly reduce the incidence and risk of COVID-19, and no one wants to see our whole community shut down again! In order to avoid further restrictions, PLEASE do your part and implement these 3 common-sense measures:

  • maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between you and other groups,

  • wear a face covering when interacting with others, especially indoors at businesses and in cloe proximity to others while outdoors, and

  • practice good hygiene - wash your hands frequently and/or use hand sanitizer!

Other than shutting everything down, there are no other tools available to us, and we need your help to do everything you can to keep our community safe and open. Even if you don't agree, or can't stand wearing a face mask, or don't like the Governor, or think it's all a conspiracy of some sort, please consider the practical impacts - these common-sense measures are all we've got left! Somehow, we've all got to get past the COVID-19 threat, and it's not too much to ask for EVERYONE to implement these common-senses measures!

San Bernardino County has produced a great video , and the City encourages everyone to check it out!
COVID-19 DATA OVER 4 MONTHS
We are now just about 4 months into the COVID-19 event, and it's interesting to see how the issue has evolved in the Big Bear Valley and San Bernardino County over that time:
2017 BIG BEAR FIREWORKS TO BE BROADCAST AT 9 PM ON JULY 4
Unfortunately, we can't provide the real thing, but you can tune in to watch the 2017 July 4 fireworks show on Saturday night.

The 2017 show will be broadcast on cable channnel 182 and on Visit Big Bear's Facebook Live beginning at 9 pm. Additionally, you can view the 2017 show anytime on Saturday at the City's website or Visit Big Bear's website.
PERSONAL FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL!
The City reminds everyone that personal fireworks are ILLEGAL in the Big Bear Valley!

City staff, Sheriff's deputies, and Fire Department staff will be closely monitoring for any illegal fireworks activity, and citations with fines up to $1,000 will be issued for any fireworks violations . Please don't put our community at risk of a significant forest fire, and simply sit back and enjoy the spectacular professional show over the lake on July 4!

If you see someone using personal fireworks, please call (909) 866-7566 or text (909) 731-4887 immediately. For additional information, please contact Big Bear Fire Department by clicking here or call (909) 866-7566.
CITY, VISIT BIG BEAR, AND INTERACT CLUB PARTNER TO DISTRIBUTE FREE MASKS IN THE VILLAGE THIS WEEKEND
The City and Visit Big Bear have partnered with others in recent weeks to distribute more than 20,000 free masks to businesses and visitors in Big Bear Lake. With the help of the Interact Club, we're ready to distribute up to 20,000 more free masks to visitors in The Village again this holiday weekend!

Interact Club volunteers will be set up all day long on Saturday and Sunday in two locations in The Village (on Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive), and Visit Big Bear staff will also be distributing masks at the Visitor Center on Big Bear Boulevard.

The free mask distribution is part of our overall efforts to keep our community SAFE and OPEN, and City staff have also deployed additional portable toilets and hand-washing stations in City parks and other high traffic areas this weekend.
2 POSITIVE TESTS OUT OF 211 TESTED AT JUNE 19 TESTING EVENT
On Tuesday, San Bernardino County public health officials released the results of the COVID-19 testing event at Big Bear Lake City Hall held on June 19. A total of 211 individuals were swab tested at the June 19 event for active cases of COVID-19, and only 2 individuals tested positive. These 2 new cases are included in the County's current reporting described above.

A total of 197 individuals participated in serology testing, and complete aggregate results are not yet available. Similar testing throughout the County has indicated that less than 1% of those tested to date have presented with antibodies, so we expect the results of this testing to yield only a small number of potentially previously exposed individuals in Big Bear Lake.

The City continues to work with San Bernardino County public health officials to schedule additional free testing events in Big Bear Lake in the future.
GOVERNOR IMPLEMENTS NEW RESTRICTIONS THAT IMPACT BARS, RESTAURANTS, MOVIE THEATER, AND BOWLING ALLEY IN BIG BEAR LAKE
In an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, Governor Newsom has implemented several new restrictions in 19 counties, including San Bernardino County. These new restrictions are expected to remain in place for 3 weeks, and affect the following businesses in Big Bear Lake:

  • All bars are ordered to remain closed, and may not operate indoors or outdoors.

  • Restaurants are limited to take-out, delivery, and outdoor seating only. The City encourages all restaurants to creatively (and safely) utilize available outdoor space to accommodate patrons.

  • The movie theater (Village Theaters) must remain closed.

  • The bowling alley (The Bowling Barn) must remain closed.

All other businesses may continue to operate in accordance with guidelines included in the Governor's Resilience Roadmap .

Various State agencies will be enforcing these new restrictions, and all Big Bear Lake businesses are strongly encouraged to comply with these new restrictions.
PLEASE GET TESTED!
FREE COVID-19 TESTING READILY AVAILABLE IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
San Bernardino County continues to offer numerous, FREE COVID-19 testing sites all throughout our County. These sites are available to any Big Bear resident who is interested in being tested, and there are no screening requirements - anyone can get tested!

To view all of the testing sites in San Bernardino County, please click here. The City is pleased to have worked with the County to offer free testing in Big Bear Lake on April 17 and June 19, and will work to schedule additional testing in the coming weeks.
VISITORS ENCOURAGED TO AVOID SR 330, SHOULD INSTEAD USE SR 18 OR SR 38 TO TRAVEL TO AND FROM BIG BEAR
Construction work continues on SR 330 leading from Highland to Running Springs, with one lane closed just south of the City Creek Fire Station. Considerable delays may occur as a result, and the City of Big Bear Lake advises all travelers to use either SR 18 from San Bernardino to Crestline, and then on to Running Springs and Big Bear Lake, OR to use SR 38 from Redlands up through Angelus Oaks and Big Bear City to Big Bear Lake.

The SR 18 route is only 6 miles longer, but will take less time during heavy traffic conditions. The SR 38 route is 18 miles longer, but will still take less time during heavy traffic conditions, and is a beautiful drive with fewer twists and turns along the way!
BIG BEAR LAKE BUSINESSES ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR COVID-COMPLIANT GRANT FUNDING - STILL MORE THAN $20 MILLION AVAILABLE
San Bernardino County's new COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program still has more than $20 million available to award to businesses to assist with the cost of implementing COVID-19 safety measures. Each business is eligible for up to $2,500, and these funds may be used for the purchase of supplies and equipment necessary to keep your customers, employees, and our community safe!

All Big Bear Lake businesses are encouraged to apply! To learn more, and to apply for your $2,500 grant, please click here.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, AND VISITORS
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

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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!
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