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CITY OF BIG BEAR LAKE - COVID UPDATE #16 - SUNDAY MARCH 29 2020

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Sun Mar 29 2020, 05:34PM Email Thread Print View

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CITY OF BIG BEAR LAKE - COVID UPDATE #16 - MARCH 29 2020

During times of crisis, in every community, and particularly in the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, there are often many different comments, ideas, and opinions expressed about what's occurring or what should be occurring in the community. All of this is completely understandable, but sometimes the information may not be correct, there may be misperceptions or important nuances, or additional details that continue to emerge. Sometimes, timing makes all the difference, and, as we all know, the COVID-19 emergency is constantly evolving.

The City's updates are provided regularly to ensure that our residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and visitors of Big Bear Lake have the most up-to-date and correct information about COVID-19 issues here in Big Bear Lake. To further this goal, we thought it would be helpful to share some of the most frequently expressed concerns relative to Big Bear Lake, and present a direct response to these concerns:

"There are no test kits in Big Bear Lake" - Bear Valley Community Hospital has maintained a limited supply of test kits since the COVID-19 emergency escalated nationally in mid-March, and has administered several tests. Due to the limited number of test kits everywhere, the tests are only administered for patients with the most significant COVID-19 symptoms. Given the limited supply of tests, it's simply not in anyone's best interest to administer tests to everyone who may want a test. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please call your doctor or the hospital to be screened, and if you meet the criteria they will arrange for testing for you.

"When are we going to get testing in Big Bear Lake?" - As noted above, there are limited numbers of test kits in our community. Hospital, Fire Department, and City officials are working with San Bernardino County public health officials to offer enhanced testing in Big Bear Valley or in the mountain areas as soon as test kits become more readily available.
"There have to be more cases of COVID-19 here" - The City relies on officially reported data from County public health officials, and this data is updated daily at the County's COVID-19 dashboard. As of March 28, there remains only one officially confirmed positive test in Big Bear Lake - Mayor Rick Herrick, and he is currently recovering at lower elevation. Having said that, there are some delays in reporting by the County due to the time it takes to receive test results, the admittance of patients from Big Bear Lake into hospital facilities off the mountain, and the fact that patients admitted elsewhere may or may not have another serious illness. As of March 28, we have reason to believe that at least one and perhaps two other individuals from Big Bear Valley may be seriously affected by COVID-19, however, the City relies on official data from County public health officials and these cases have not been officially confirmed as of this update. The City will absolutely share information about confirmed additional cases as it becomes known, and is committed to providing honest, factual information to our community. Most importantly, we should all simply ASSUME THAT THE VIRUS IS EVERYWHERE, and act responsibly to limit community transmission.

"The Bear Valley Community Hospital is full of patients on ventilators" - Bear Valley Community Hospital currently has 0 admitted patients, and in the event of serious patient condition will make arrangements to transfer the patient to a more comprehensive medical facility off the mountain. Both the hospital and Big Bear Fire Department (the local emergency medical services provider) report typical patient and call volumes for this time of year, and are well-equipped to meet this demand. Hospital and Fire Department staff are taking all appropriate precautions, and continue to engage in contingency planning in case the COVID-19 threat escalates in Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Valley.

"There are still vacation rentals operating in Big Bear Lake" - The City and the County have made it abundantly clear that lodging facilities and vacation rentals may not operate in Big Bear Lake or in areas outside the City limits (Big Bear City and other unincorporated areas). The City has been in direct communications with representatives of local vacation rental companies, and they are complying with these orders. The City has also been in direct communications with AirBnB management and our self-managed vacation rental owners about these orders, and they are working cooperatively with the City. Finally, City staff are fielding calls through the City's (909) 866-CODE hotline, and are responding to every single concern filed in the City limits. There have been a few evictions, but in the vast majority of cases the individuals using the vacation rental are the actual second home owners. It is important to note that San Bernardino County oversees the vacation rental program for Big Bear City and unincorporated areas of the County, and their vacation rental hotline is 888-399-8591.

"Do these orders apply in Big Bear City (or other unincorporated areas)?" - In most cases, because the City is implementing the Governor's and the County's orders, the answer is yes, but to be absolutely certain you would need to reach out to officials in Big Bear City or San Bernardino County to confirm. The City is responsible for approximately 6.5 square miles of land area, nearly 10,000 residential housing units, most of the commercial enterprises, and slightly more than 5,000 permanent residents in the City limits. As such, the City's updates are tailored specifically for City residents, second home owners, investors, businesses, and visitors. We are absolutely happy to share City information with anyone who may find it helpful, however, it's important to note that our primary focus is the City of Big Bear Lake.

"There are 'flatlanders' coming up here from off the mountain and buying up all of our supplies and spreading the virus up here" - As a result of the various restrictions, there are very few visitors in Big Bear Lake and this is not perceived to be a significant issue for our community. Additionally, it's important to note that the City can't legally prevent someone from entering our community unless / until it is necessary to keep everyone in and everyone out of the City limits. We are not at that point yet, and if we evolve to that severe restriction it will need to be specifically recommended or ordered by State and/or County public health officials after consulting with City officials and other local government entities in the Big Bear Valley. The City of Big Bear Lake has the authority to completely close off the 6.5 square miles included in the City limits, however, it does not have authority over Big Bear City and other unincorporated areas in the Big Bear Valley. Finally, it's important to note that many residents of Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Valley have been traveling off the mountain to purchase food and supplies in other communities.

"We are running out of food and supplies up here" - Grocery industry officials report that the overall supply chain remains strong, and that there are sufficient supplies to meet normal consumer consumption patterns. Additionally, Von's and Stater Brothers have both enacted limits on the quantity of specific items that can be purchased, and they are working very hard to replenish shelves. There is enough for everyone if we all only purchase what we need - please don't hoard supplies!

"There are too many people at City parks or on the Alpine Pedal Path" - These outdoor public facilities remain open, and it's important for people to have an outlet to get outside and exercise. People using these facilities should only do so by themselves or with the same family group with whom they are "sheltering in place", and should avoid getting close to other users.

"We shouldn't allow second home owners to come to Big Bear Lake" - Second home owners are an important segment of the Big Bear Lake community, and enjoy and appreciate Big Bear Lake as much as those of us who are fortunate to live here year-round. Second homeowners pay the same property taxes and other taxes as permanent residents all year long, and also support our local businesses. Importantly, these owners have the same right to use their home as any permanent resident, and as long as they are adhering to the restrictions and recommendations in place in Big Bear Lake they are are permitted to use their home.

"The lake should not be opened on April 7, as that's too soon" - The lake and the public boat ramps are managed by the Big Bear Municipal Water District (MWD), a separate local government entity governed by it's own Board of Directors, and they have the responsibility to manage the lake as deemed best. The MWD is not an agency of the City of Big Bear Lake, and the City respects their judgment and authority to act within the Governor's and the County's orders regarding COVID-19. The MWD has set a tentative opening date of April 7, which is still 9 days away, and it is likely that the MWD will continue to evaluate this decision and adjust if necessary to promote public safety. The lake itself and the public boat ramps are generally not in the City limits of Big Bear Lake.
As noted earlier, the COVID-19 emergency is constantly evolving, and City officials (along with State, County, and other local government officials in Big Bear Valley) are all working hard to promote public safety. All of our actions are rooted, first and foremost, in keeping the people of Big Bear Lake and the entire Big Bear Valley safe during this unprecedented emergency.

It's a high priority for the City to keep you well-informed about the COVID-19 emergency and our actions in response to this emergency. The best way to do stay informed is to sign up for our regular updates by clicking here to visit the City's website.

As noted earlier, the COVID-19 emergency is constantly evolving, and City officials (along with State, County, and other local government officials in Big Bear Valley) are all working hard to promote public safety. All of our actions are rooted, first and foremost, in keeping the people of Big Bear Lake and the entire Big Bear Valley safe during this unprecedented emergency.

It's a high priority for the City to keep you well-informed about the COVID-19 emergency and our actions in response to this emergency. The best way to do stay informed is to sign up for our regular updates by clicking here to visit the City's website.







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SCM ALERT🚨
Jun 05 : 05:15pm
[FIRE DEPT DISPATCH] TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
HESPERIA NB 15 OAK HILL > RANCHERO - HESC NB 15 OAK HILL > RANCHERO X OAK HILL RD/I 15 OFRP N
ME305 MS304 MA305A

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Tlingit
Jun 05 : 05:10pm
Vacuum is out and ready.

Deb Doodah⭐
Jun 05 : 03:49pm
Oh Tlingit just wait. That is what I thought when I first got our cabin. The next morning they all made their presence known. Keep your vacuum handy. 😀

SCM ALERT🚨
Jun 05 : 02:05pm
Good Stuff! Thank you Mr. Mc Toddy!

McToddy
Jun 05 : 12:38pm
Hi All -- I just came across this documentry on PBS (Nova: Decoding COVID-19) that I highly recommend for you to watch [Click Here]

doo·hick·ey
Jun 05 : 12:37pm
Few Sprinkles here. Clouds been neat since sun up.

SCM ALERT🚨
Jun 05 : 12:26pm
[FIRE DEPT DISPATCH] STRUCTURE FIRE
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SCM ALERT🚨
Jun 05 : 12:20pm
Here is the incident for that warehouse that burnt... You can zoom in the map on satellite to see the size of that structure: [Click Here]

Tlingit
Jun 05 : 11:23am
Came up for the weekend. Found about 20 moths. Not bad for being away for 3 or so weeks. Dogs had fun with them. Haven't seen too many flies though.

BusterBrown
Jun 05 : 11:03am
I saw them on the Blvd. Man those are some nice vehicles.

MountainBar
Jun 05 : 10:50am
Anybody know anything about the exotic cars racing on North Shore? About 100 of them wow!

McToddy
Jun 05 : 10:41am
Where can I hire some bears to hang out and address my moth issues?

doo·hick·ey
Jun 05 : 09:42am
In Baldwin here we only get the normal few a night. Benny & Graig's location hasn't had them swarm either.

Gorn
Jun 05 : 09:14am
DH, that is interesting and may explain why I don't see that many moths in Boulder Bay and see an increasing presence of bears. I say that kind of tongue-in-cheek but who knows.
You're welcome McT.

doo·hick·ey
Jun 05 : 09:04am
Yellowstone has 'em too -
[Click Here] "Both grizzly and black .. bears may eat more than 40,000 moths in a single day."
We need more bears!


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