Update #86
COVID-19 Emergency
July 13, 2020 - 9:30 pm
5 New Confirmed Cases Reported Over Last 3 Days

ICU Bed Availability Remains Relatively Constant

Governor Newsom Announces New Restrictions That Limit Additional Businesses in Big Bear Lake to Outdoor Activities Only

City Council Discusses Potential LIMITED Street Closures in The Village to Assist Restaurants, Other Businesses

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
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 reported 5 new COVID-19 cases for the Big Bear Valley this past weekend and today.

According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have now been a total of 19 confirmed cases in the Big Bear Valley since early May, and a total of 14 new cases in just the past 12 days. 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 18 reported cases in the City of Big Bear Lake and 10 in unincorporated areas (28 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 relatively low incidence of COVID-19 in our community. It is important to recognize that we have recorded a total of 28 confirmed case in the Big Bear Valley, and this number is equal to approximately 1/8 of 1% of the total permanent population of the Big Bear Valley. City officials are increasingly concerned, however, about the recent escalation in the number of cases, 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 19,502 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 181,718 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 10.7% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 307 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, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 122% 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 652 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. 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 176 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and this number has been relatively constant over the past two weeks. There are now a total of 345 patients in ICU in our County for other (non-COVID-19) reasons, and there are now a total of 145 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. On July 1, 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 143 ventilators out of the 790 ventilators in our County. There are a total of 167 ventilators currently being utilized by patients with other ailments, and a total of 480 ventilators remain available. San Bernardino County reports that many hospitals are now utilizing alternative devices, including CPAP and BiPAP devices, to treat COVID-19 patients, and that these devices have been effective in avoiding ventilator use.
Earlier today, Governor Newsom announced new restrictions that affect San Bernardino County. As such, these new restrictions apply in the City of Big Bear Lake.

The following businesses in Big Bear Lake may now ONLY operate OUTDOORS:

  • restaurants,

  • wine tasting operations,

  • family entertainment centers,

  • the zoo,

  • gyms and fitness centers

  • churches and worship centers,

  • offices for non-essential sectors,

  • nail salons, body waxing services, and tattoo parlors, and

  • hair salons and barber shops.

City staff encourage all of these types of businesses to be creative in developing ways to serve customers outdoors, and the City expects to be flexible with our local businesses operating outdoors, provided the activities do not cause an immediate safety concern. Please contact City staff at 909-866-5831 for helpful assistance with any questions.

The following businesses in Big Bear Lake continue to be prohibited from operating:

  • the movie theater,

  • the bowling alley, and

  • bars that do not also serve food (bars that serve food may operate outdoors).

All other 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.

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 are now 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.
The City Council held its regular meeting earlier tonight, and directed City staff to consider potential limited street closures in The Village to help restaurants and other businesses expand outdoor operations. City staff will be reviewing different alternatives this week, and the City Council is expected to hold a special meeting later this week or early next week to review potential strategies.

It is important to note that any strategies employed would be implemented on a trial basis, and for limited days of the week and limited hours of the day, and are not being considered for permanent implementation at this time. Potential alternatives that will be evaluated include the following:

  • the closure of Pine Knot Avenue AND Village Drive only during weekend afternoon and/or evening hours to allow restaurants and other businesses to set up in the streets,

  • the closure of only Pine Knot Avenue OR only Village Drive only during weekend afternoon and/or evening hours to allow restaurants and other businesses to set up in the street,

  • keeping Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive open, but closing other streets adjacent to businesses (i.e, Stone Road, Pedder Road, Bartlett Road, Cottage Lane) only during weekend afternoon and/or evening hours to allow restaurants and other businesses to set up in the streets,

  • allowing restaurants and other businesses to set up in City-owned parking lots on Knickerbocker Road, Bartlett Road, and between Village Drive and Cameron Drive,

  • potential implementation of one-way traffic through The Village, or

  • any variation or combination of the above that will be HELPFUL to restaurants and other businesses in The Village.

City staff will be working to refine alternatives this week, and will be partnering with the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce to solicit feedback from businesses in The Village later this week.

The City's explicit goals for this initiative are to keep our residents and visitors SAFE, and help our businesses stay OPEN and remain profitable!

More details will be provided in future City COVID-19 updates.
Please do your part! Other than closing additional business sectors and/or activities 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!
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!
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:
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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