Update #99
COVID-19 Emergency
August 27, 2020 - 6 pm
Now 12 Active COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Reach Lowest Levels Since June 21

City and Visit Big Bear Working Together to Mitigate Visitor Impacts

Additional Big Bear Testing Opportunities in September
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!
According to the latest data from San Bernardino County, there have now been a cumulative total of 98 confirmed COVID-19 cases since mid-March. Of this total, there have been 50 cases in the City of Big Bear Lake, 35 cases in Big Bear City, 11 cases in Sugarloaf, and 2 cases in Fawnskin.

The City is now receiving Big Bear Valley-specific information from San Bernardino County contact tracers. According to the latest report, 86 of these individuals have recovered from COVID-19, and there are currently 12 active cases in the Big Bear Valley. This equates to approximately 1 active case per 1,833 residents of the Big Bear Valley. Thankfully, there have been no deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Big Bear Valley.

There have been a total of 18 cases reported in the Big Bear Valley over the past two weeks, which equates to a two-week new case rate of 82 per 100,000 population in the Big Bear Valley. This two-week new case rate remains lower than the State of California as a whole, lower than San Bernardino County, and lower than all Southern California counties, thankfully.

The Big Bear Valley remains fortunate to experience a relatively low incidence of COVID-19, and if the Big Bear Valley was its own County, we would not be included on the State's monitoring list.
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 data in the entire County.

According to the latest data, there are currently 367 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in San Bernardino County. This is the lowest number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients hospitalized in our county since June 21.

According to the latest data, there are now a total of 106 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, and this number is now at comparable levels as experienced in June. There are now a total of 159 intensive care beds still available in San Bernardino County.
Because the Big Bear Valley is a relatively safe, convenient, and desirable location, we have experienced significant visitation from day trippers, lodging, and vacation rental guests for more than 3 months. Additionally, many second home owners are spending prolonged periods of time living in their second home in Big Bear, and this overall population swell is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

There are approximately 9,800 housing units in the City of Big Bear Lake, and nearly 2,200 of these housing units are occupied by permanent residents. There are slightly more than 2,100 housing units in the City's vacation rental program, and the remaining approximately 5,300 housing units are utilized exclusively as second homes. (This data reflects the City limits only, and does not include Big Bear City, Sugarloaf, Fawnskin, and other communities in the Big Bear Valley.) Due to the impact of COVID-19 in California and beyond, vacation rentals and second homes are being utilized more frequently, for longer periods of time than historically experienced, and more continuously throughout the year. This experience is not at all unique to Big Bear Lake, and is occurring in nearly every desirable outdoor vacation destination in the United States. Additionally, particularly with excessive heat at lower elevations in Southern California this summer, Big Bear represents a much cooler destination for a few hours or a day, and we are experiencing high visitation from day trippers seeking to escape the heat or simply looking for enjoyable outdoor recreation activities with family and friends.

The City of Big Bear Lake has been working hard for the past 3+ months to meet the additional demands placed on our community, both inside the City limits and also outside the City limits. City staff have been working hard to keep City facilities clean, remove trash from City parks and parking areas, and more. City staff have also been assisting the US Forest Service with trash collection and graffiti removal at various USFS facilities during this time, and continues to provide support - despite the fact that all of these facilities are outside the City limits, primarily on the North Shore - in an effort to be helpful to the entire Big Bear Valley. Additionally, the City and Visit Big Bear continue to promote respectful behavior by our visitors. Finally, property managers, City staff, and/or Sheriff's deputies are responding to all vacation rental complaints in the City limits, with special emphasis on resolving noise and party complaints. The City continues these efforts, and is constantly working to improve our effectiveness in all areas.

The City recognizes the strain that these additional visitors place on the quality of life of our permanent residents, and appreciates everyone's cooperation and patience as we strive to effectively manage these issues. Visit Big Bear also recognizes the strain, and is committed to working with the City and other partners (the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, the lodging and vacation rental industries, the US Forest Service, the Municipal Water District, and others) to address these issues. The City will continue these efforts for as long as needed, and will continue to strive to improve. Visit Big Bear has allocated additional funding to assist the City with these efforts, and the City appreciates their assistance. These additional funds will be used to provide additional portable restrooms, additional trash services, and more. Additionally, Visit Big Bear is organizing special litter clean-up events in the next two weeks, and will continue efforts to keep Big Bear clean.
The City and Bear Mountain Family Medicine Urgent Care have entered into a partnership to offer daily COVID-19 testing, at no cost, to residents of the Big Bear Valley, and this testing is expected to be available on or around September 1. Appointments will be scheduled approximately every 15 minutes, and will be administered at the Urgent Care facility at 41949 Big Bear Boulevard. It will not be necessary to have a doctor's order or have symptoms in order to receive a test. Additional details will be announced in a future City COVID-19 update.

The City is again partnering with San Bernardino County to offer another County testing event in Big Bear Lake on Tuesday, September 22 from 10 am - 2 pm at Big Bear Lake City Hall. Appointments will be required, and testing will be provided free of charge to anyone who signs up. Additional details will be provided in a future City COVID-19 update.

The City is pleased to offer convenient COVID-19 testing opportunities in the Big Bear Valley. The quicker a positive COVID-19 case is identified, the quicker the appropriate actions can be taken to keep others safe, and the better data we have available for our community to manage the COVID-19 event here in the Big Bear Valley. Please take advantage of one of these testing options in September!
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