Update #92
COVID-19 Emergency
August 3, 2020 - 4:30 pm
Visitors Need to R E S P E C T Big Bear!

5 New Cases Reported Since Last Thursday

Hospitalizations Decrease Slightly in San Bernardino County

City Working to Add More Local Testing

City Working with County to Improve Contact Tracing in Big Bear Valley

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

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!
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!
San Bernardino County has reported 5 new cases in the Big Bear Valley since the City's last COVID-19 update on Thursday, and is now reporting a total of 57 confirmed cases since July 1. This figure represents the estimated maximum number of "active" cases at this time. It is believed, however, that many of these individuals have recovered by now, thus the actual number of "active" cases is likely somewhat lower. The total permanent population in the Big Bear Valley is approximately 22,000 people, thus the incidence of COVID-19 in our community remains relatively low - thankfully.

Over the last two weeks, there have been 28 new cases reported in the Big Bear Valley, which equates to a two-week new case rate of 127 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 some 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 continues to be 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 312 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 1370 per 100,000 population. In Los Angeles County, the rate is 359 per 100,000 population, and in Orange County it is 252 per 100,000 population. Here in San Bernardino County, the rate is 431 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 71 confirmed cases. Since reporting began in mid-March, there have been 36 confirmed cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, 29 in Big Bear City, 6 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 33,432 confirmed cases in all of San Bernardino County. A total of 257,042 tests have been administered thus far in the County, with 13% testing positive for COVID-19. Sadly, a total of 418 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 data, there are currently 642 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. This number has decreased slightly from the peak of 738 patients on July 25, and we are hopeful that this number will continue to decrease in the coming weeks.

According to the latest data, there are now a total of 198 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and this number has been relatively constant over the past two weeks. There are now a total 116 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County.

Ventilators remain readily available in San Bernardino County, with a total of 368 currently available. There are currently 158 COVID-19 patients utilizing a ventilator in our county, and this number has been relatively constant over the past two weeks.
City officials are working closely with San Bernardino County public health officials to schedule another free community testing event in the Big Bear Valley in mid-August. The community testing event will again be held in the Big Bear Lake City Hall, and will be open to all residents of the Big Bear Valley. Additional details will be announced in a future City COVID-19 update.

The City is also exploring a potential direct purchase of COVID-19 test kits and testing equipment, and would partner with local health care providers to make testing available more often, more conveniently, and with faster results for residents of the Big Bear Valley. Work on this initiative is ongoing, with many details to be worked out, but the City hopes to offer this service in the future. The sooner we can get our residents tested and the faster we can get the results, the more effective we can be at containing COVID-19 in our community.

In the meantime, San Bernardino County continues to offer testing at various locations throughout the County. Please click here to view available testing locations and schedule your appointment.
City and County officials are partnering to improve contact tracing efforts in the Big Bear Valley, with a new, focused effort on the recent cases in the City and in nearby unincorporated areas.

The goal of this focused effort is to reduce the amount of time between the reporting of an initial positive test result and the initiation of contact tracing, and also to complete all tracing as quickly as possible - in order to isolate potentially exposed local individuals as quickly as possible and reduce the potential for further community transmission. This new effort is also aimed at providing more detailed information about the transmission of COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley in order to better guide the City's COVID-19 response in the future. The City is constantly working to better understand the COVID-19 experience here in our own community, and this new effort will enhance the City's understanding of the actual conditions in the Big Bear Valley.
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.
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