Update #85
COVID-19 Emergency
July 10, 2020 - 4:30 pm
3 New Confirmed Cases in Big Bear Valley Today, City Officials Closely Monitoring Evolving Circumstances

Number of COVID-19 Patients in ICU Decreases Slightly; 162 ICU Beds Still Available

City Employee Tests Positive, City Following Proper Protocols

PLEASE Exercise Physical Distancing, Wear Face Coverings, and Wash Your Hands!

Please Stay Home If You Have Symptoms, See Your Doctor, and Get Tested As Soon As Possible

Big Bear Lake Businesses Must Adhere to State Requirements

Big Bear Lake Businesses Encouraged to Apply for COVID-Compliant Funding

Guidance for Businesses if an Employee Has Symptoms or Tests Positive

COVID-Compliant Funding Still Available for Big Bear Lake Businesses
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 has reported three new COVID-19 cases for the Big Bear Valley today - one in the City limits and two in unincorporated areas.

According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have now been a total of 14 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley since early May. Of these 14, a total of 9 cases are in the City of Big Bear Lake and 5 are in unincorporated areas. 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. Including these earlier cases, the total cumulative case count now includes 14 reported cases in the City of Big Bear Lake and 9 in unincorporated areas (23 total cases). Thankfully, there have been no deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.

Although the number of cases has increased in the Big Bear Valley in recent weeks, we remain fortunate to continue to experience a low incidence of COVID-19 in our community. City officials are increasingly concerned, however, and continue to consider potential adjustments and/or additional strategies to keep our residents, second home owners, businesses, and visitors safe.

The County now reports a cumulative total of 18,275 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 172,194 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 10.3% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 304 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.
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. Unfortunately, the number of hospitalizations continues to increase in San Bernardino County, and in fact, hospitalizations have essentially doubled since June 16. Thankfully, there is still sufficient hospital capacity in our County, however the continuing increases are very concerning for County and City officials.

According to the latest County data, there are currently 599 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. This is again 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. One week ago, there were a total of 516 patients hospitalized in our County.

According to the latest County data, there are now a total of 153 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, which represents a slight decrease from yesterday's report of 175 patients. There are now a total of 346 patients in ICU in our County for other (non-COVID-19) reasons, and there are now a total of 162 intensive care beds still 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. One week ago, there were a total of 95 intensive care beds available in our County.

According to the latest County data, COVID-19 patients are currently utilizing 123 ventilators out of the 786 ventilators in our County. There are a total of 197 ventilators currently being utilized by patients with other ailments, and a total of 466 ventilators remain available.
The City learned this afternoon that a City employee at City Hall has tested positive for COVID-19 . This is the first City employee to test positive. (Mayor Rick Herrick was, however, the very first confirmed case in Big Bear Lake in mid-March.)

Fortunately, the City employee is recovering well, and has been and will continue to work from home. The employee has not been at work for nearly 2 weeks, and thankfully no other City employees have exhibited any symptoms over the past 2 weeks. City staff have and continue to thoroughly disinfect the building, and continue to implement numerous protective measures including physical distancing, face coverings, good hygiene, and use of plexi-glass barriers.

The City has and continues to follow all recommended protocols (outlined here), and City Hall remains open to the public for City business. Face coverings are required to conduct business with the City, and remote consultations via phone, email, or video conferencing are also available by calling 909-866-5831.
Please do your part! Other than closing down certain business sectors or the entire community, the only tools available to contain COVID-19 are these three measures:

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

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

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

We need your help to do everything you can to keep our community SAFE and OPEN! 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 three common-senses measures!
With the number of COVID-19 cases rising in Southern California, it is critical that ANYONE experiencing symptoms or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 act responsibly and take appropriate steps to prevent the spread to others .

  • If you have symptoms, please stay away from others (self-quarantine), contact your doctor immediately, and make arrangements to be tested as soon as possible. Individuals should generally remain self-quarantined for approximately 14 days after first symptoms appear (consult with your doctor).

  • If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone confirmed with COVID-19 in the 2 days before they developed symptoms or while symptomatic, please self-quarantine and monitor yourself for symptoms for approximately 14 days after close contact. If you develop symptoms, contact your doctor immediately and make arrangements to be tested as soon as possible.

  • If you have not been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) but have been in the general proximity of someone with COVID-19, you should simply monitor yourself for symptoms and act accordingly if you develop symptoms.

There is currently a nationwide shortage of COVID-19 tests due to high demand, and it may take longer than desired to schedule a testing appointment and/or receive results. Please first check with your doctor to attempt to arrange a COVID-19 test, or contact Bear Valley Community Hospital's Family Health Center at 909-878-8246. San Bernardino County continues to offer COVID-19 testing in various locations in San Bernardino County as supplies are available, and please click here to learn more and make an appointment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus , and may include:

  • fever or chills

  • cough

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • fatigue

  • muscle or body aches

  • headache

  • new loss of taste or smell

  • sore throat

  • congestion or runny nose

  • nausea or vomiting

  • diarrhea.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, please act responsibly and take appropriate steps immediately. It's in your best interest, your family's best interest, and our community's best interest!

The best thing to do, in any circumstance, is to consult with your doctor and follow his / her guidance!
All Big Bear Lake businesses are required to operate in compliance with State requirements, and links to the most current requirements for each type of business are located here. Nearly all businesses in Big Bear Lake, with a few exceptions (movie theater, bowling alley, and bars), are currently permitted to be open, but must implement proper health and safety measures.

It is critical that ALL Big Bear Lake businesses operate safely and responsibly in order to keep our community SAFE and keep our community OPEN. City and County officials will now be making more targeted educational visits to businesses, and the State is deploying a new Strike Force to take enforcement action against any businesses that do not come into compliance. Additionally, the County has established an online complaint form, and this form can be accessed here.
San Bernardino County's new COVID-Compliant Business Partnership Program still has significant funding 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, and to become COVID-Compliant! To learn more, and to apply for your $2,500 grant, please click  here.
San Bernardino County public health officials have prepared a helpful document to assist businesses if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, and this document can viewed here.

In short, any employee with COVID-19 symptoms (or symptoms of any illness) should stay home from work and away from everyone, and businesses should emphasize this message to all employees.

If a business has an employee that tests positive for COVID-19, the employee should stay home from work and away from everyone. Upon learning of the positive case, the business is required to thoroughly disinfect all areas where the employee was working, but is not required to close down for any defined period of time.

The COVID-19 positive employee should remain away from work, and the business should take appropriate steps to notify other employees, should keep any other employees that may have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with the COVID-19 positive employee within 2 days prior to the first symptoms away from work also, and should make sure all employees are closely monitoring for symptoms.

Most importantly, the business should implement proper distancing among patrons and employees, require face coverings, and promote good hygiene!
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,
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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