Update #91
COVID-19 Emergency
July 30, 2020 - 5 pm
3 New Cases Reported Since Last City Update on Tuesday

Hospitalizations Remain Relatively Constant

City Decisions Based Primarily on Our Experience Here in the Big Bear Valley

No Street Closure in The Village This Weekend

Visitors Need to R E S P E C T Big Bear!

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 has reported 3 new cases in the Big Bear Valley since the City's last COVID-19 update on Tuesday, and is now reporting a total of 52 confirmed cases since July 1. 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. Assuming that all 52 of these cases are still "active", this means that approximately 1 in 423 residents in the Big Bear Valley is currently infected with COVID-19.

Over the last two weeks, there have been 31 new cases reported in the Big Bear Valley, which equates to a two-week new case rate of 141 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. Although the Big Bear Valley is not a county, it is a very large sub-area of San Bernardino County (the largest county in the United States by land area), and is as large as many counties in the United States. The Big Bear Valley views itself as one community, is somewhat isolated from the rest of San Bernardino County, and functions much like a county. Because we don't have readily available data on the two-week new case rate for California cities, it is reasonable to compare our experience in the Big Bear Valley with other counties in California.

Thankfully, the Big Bear Valley's two-week new case rate remains significantly lower than all counties in Southern California, and is lower than most counties throughout the entire state of California. The Big Bear Valley's two-week new case rate is also lower than that of California as a whole, which is currently at 325 cases per 100,000 population over the past two weeks. To put it in further perspective, the two-week new case rate in Kern County is 1180 per 100,000 population. In Los Angeles County, the rate is 399 per 100,000 population, and in Orange County it is 260 per 100,000 population. Here in San Bernardino County, the rate is 508 per 100,000 population.

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 66 confirmed cases. Since reporting began in mid-March, there have been 36 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.

The County now reports a cumulative total of 31,688 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 243,485 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 13% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 403 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.

According to the latest County data, there are currently 710 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, however, and we remain hopeful that this number will begin to decrease.

According to the latest County data, there are now a total of 192 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 are now a total 190 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County.

Ventilators remain readily available in San Bernardino County, with a total of 378 currently available. There are currently 153 COVID-19 patients utilizing a ventilator in our county, and this number has been relatively stable over the past week.
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.

It is important to note that City officials make our decisions based on the actual experience in the Big Bear Valley, the overall hospital capacity in San Bernardino County, and after thoughtfully considering input from every segment of our community. We certainly consider the experiences throughout California and beyond, but we do not make our decisions based on media reports from other communities. Our attention is clearly focused on our situation here in the Big Bear Valley - that's what's most relevant in OUR community.

Although City officials are concerned about the escalation of cases over the past month, 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 - thankfully.
The City Council held a special meeting this afternoon to consider additional street closures in The Village, and decided NOT to implement any additional closures on Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive at this time. All streets and parking spaces in The Village will be open for vehicular traffic and use this weekend, and all sidewalks are reserved for pedestrian use. Businesses may continue to set up outdoors, but only on their own property.

The City will continue to maintain a strong law enforcement presence in The Village this weekend and beyond, and again reminds our residents, businesses, and visitors that face masks are required when entering a business or interacting with others indoors or outdoors in The Village!

The City Council will discuss the street / parking space closures again at the August 10 regular City Council meeting, and the City may implement this strategy again later this summer or fall.
The City of Big Bear Lake and Visit Big Bear urge all of our visitor to R E S P E C T our community when you are visiting. We are happy to welcome visitors, and we are thankful that all of us can enjoy the plentiful outdoor recreational opportunities in Big Bear - but we need everyone to act responsibly!

Roam Responsibly - Enjoy Big Bear thoughtfully and responsibly, maintain the utmost respect for everyone and everything, and remember this is our home!

Educate Yourself - Do your research before traveling to Big Bear, familiarize yourself with our expectations, and behave responsibly!

Safety First - This is simple - wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and wash your hands frequently ! If you are not feeling well, stay home and away from others! Think about your own safety and your family's safety, but also think about the safety of our residents and those working hard to serve you while you are here in Big Bear! Show everyone that YOU CARE about keeping others safe!

Preserve Big Bear - Be mindful of our pristine outdoor spaces, and maintain a light footprint. Please take your trash with you and dispose of it properly - don't litter !

Embrace the Big Bear Community - Support our local businesses, respect their requirements, and recognize that all of us are working hard to keep you safe, keep our residents safe, and keep our community open so you may continue to enjoy your time here ! Be mindful of your neighbors living near your vacation rental unit, and recognize the need for you to behave in a responsible and friendly manner.

Celebrate the Big Bear Culture - We've got a great way of life here in the Big Bear Valley, and we are happy to share it with you and we want you to enjoy it here as much as we do! Check out all of the great activities to enjoy in Big Bear - while wearing your face covering and maintaining a safe distance from others !

Teach Others - Make sure everyone in your party is focused on the need to be safe and act responsibly when you're in Big Bear. You can set the example for them, and for our other visitors!
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:
  • Visit our website by clicking here

  • "Like" us on Facebook - City of Big Bear Lake
  • Follow us on Twitter - @CityofBBL
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  • 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