Update #90
COVID-19 Emergency
July 28, 2020 - 5:30 pm
49 New Cases in Big Bear Valley Since July 1

Total of 210 ICU Beds Available in San Bernardino County

City Council to Consider Additional Weekends for Street Closure in The Village

Additional Testing, Quicker Turn Around Times Offered Throughout San Bernardino County

ALL Businesses Need to Be Vigilant In Order to Keep Our Community Safe and Open!
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 is now reporting a total of 49 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Big Bear Valley since July 1, and this figure represents the estimated maximum number of "active" cases at this time. It is believed, however, that some of these individuals have recovered by now, thus the actual number of "active" cases may be somewhat lower.

There were a total of 14 confirmed cases reported in the Big Bear Valley between mid-March and July 1, thus the cumulative total in the Big Bear Valley is now 63 confirmed cases. Since reporting began in mid-March, there have been 33 confirmed cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, 25 in Big Bear City, 5 in Sugarloaf, and 0 in Fawnskin. Thankfully, there have been no deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.

Over the last two weeks, there have been 32 new cases reported in the Big Bear Valley, which equates to a two-week new case rate of 145 per 100,000 population. This is one of the key metrics used by the State to gauge the current COVID-19 threat in California counties. To put this in perspective, the two-week new case rate in Kern County is 951 per 100,000 population. In Los Angeles County, the rate is 394 per 100,000 population, and in Orange County it is 297 per 100,000 population. Here in San Bernardino County, the rate is 451 per 100,000 population. The Big Bear Valley's two-week new case rate remains significantly lower than every other county in Southern California.

The City continues to closely monitor COVID-19 in the City limits, the entire Big Bear Valley, and in San Bernardino County, and will adjust our strategies as necessary and appropriate to keep our community SAFE and keep our community OPEN. City officials are increasingly concerned about the increase in new cases in recent weeks, however, we do not believe it is necessary or prudent at this time to seek the closure of certain segments of our community. The City is currently implementing all applicable restrictions imposed by the State, and the Big Bear Valley continues to be impacted less than most other areas in California.

In order to keep our community SAFE and OPEN, it is imperative that all residents, businesses, and visitors WEAR FACE COVERINGS, MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE, and PRACTICE GOOD HAND HYGIENE! We all need to do our part to reverse the recent trends, and reduce the number of "active" cases in the Big Bear Valley!

The County now reports a cumulative total of 29,962 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 237,894 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 12.6% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 395 people have now died from COVID-19 in San Bernardino County, with 37 deaths reported over the past five days. This data is the most sobering reminder of the threat we all face, and the need for all of us to do our part to keep our community safe.

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.

According to the latest County data, there are currently 688 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. This number has increased from 217 patients on June 1, and 516 patients on July 1. The number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County has remained relatively constant over the past two weeks, and we remain hopeful that this number will begin to decrease.

According to the latest County data, there are now a total of 195 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and this number has also been relatively constant over the past two weeks. It is important to note that there now a total 210 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County. This is the highest availability of ICU beds in our county since late May.

Ventilators remain readily available in San Bernardino County, with a total of 352 currently available. There are currently 151 COVID-19 patients utilizing a ventilator in our county, and this number has increased slightly over the past two weeks (from 132 COVID-19 patients on ventilators).
The City implemented a trial closure of Pine Knot Avenue (no vehicular traffic, pedestrians only) and the on-street parking spaces on Village Drive this past weekend in order to provide more space for visitors to spread out and to promote greater physical distancing, and also to allow our restaurants and retail businesses to expand operations into public spaces outdoors.

A total of 10 businesses took advantage of the opportunity to set up in the public spaces on Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive, and the crowd was more dispersed in the street on Pine Knot Avenue. From a safety and logistical standpoint, the trial closure went smoothly, and visitors seemed to enjoy the extra space and different atmosphere. The City is currently soliciting feedback from the businesses in The Village to gauge their support for future closures, and the City Council will meet later this week to determine if / when additional temporary closures will be implemented in August. If additional closures are implemented, they will likely be limited to weekends only.
San Bernardino County officials have been working hard to expand the availability of public COVID-19 testing, and to reduce the turnaround time for test results. The County recently implemented a new testing contract that is expected to significantly improve testing in our county, and appointments are now available.

A complete listing of testing sites is available here, along with instructions for scheduling an appointment. A variety of State, County, and private testing sites are available, many of which are offered at no cost to the individual. Some testing sites will process health insurance claims, but will not require a co-payment. There are 29 different testing sites available, along with drive-thru testing at Rite-Aid pharmacy locations in several cities in San Bernardino County.

The City is also currently working with San Bernardino County public health officials to schedule additional testing events in Big Bear Lake. An announcement regarding future testing events is expected in the coming days.

Additionally, Bear Valley Community Hospital is now offering COVID-19 testing to those with doctor's orders three times per week at the hospital. If you have symptoms, please see your local doctor, who will refer you for testing if warranted.
As the number of local cases continues to rise, it's now more important than ever for ALL Big Bear businesses to double-down on your commitment to keeping your employees, your customers, and our community safe! If we can't do that, we may be forced to close some or all businesses, and no one wants that to happen again!

PLEASE do your part, and be vigilant in your efforts:

  • adhere to the applicable State guidance for your business, and always err on the side of health and safety,

  • REQUIRE your employees and customers to wear a face covering in order to work at or enter your business,

  • arrange your business operations to maximize physical distance between all customers and employees,

  • wherever feasible, move business operations outdoors,

  • monitor your employees for possible COVID-19 symptoms, and err on the side of caution by keeping them away from work until a negative test result is obtained and no symptoms are present,

  • if you have an employee test positive, please follow the guidance located here , and

The City is happy to assist any of our businesses with compliance efforts, and City staff are making periodic visits to all Big Bear Lake businesses to educate business owners, offer assistance, and provide free masks.

The City's goal is to work cooperatively with our businesses to keep everyone safe, and also help your business avoid a potential punitive action by State officials. For assistance, please contact City Hall at 909-866-5831 or email us. The City is committed to helping our businesses operate safely and maintain profitability!
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