Just a month ago, there were 11 cases of COVID-19 reported in Big Bear Valley. As of July 9, there are 20.
The latest data shows an increase of two new cases reported since yesterday. There are now 13 reported cases of COVID-19 in the city of Big Bear Lake and seven in Big Bear City, which includes all the unincorporated areas of Big Bear. Those areas include Big Bear City, Fawnskin, Sugarloaf, Erwin Lake, Baldwin Lake and Lake William.
On June 16, when the Big Bear Lake City Council met to consider whether to hold the fireworks show on July 4, city manager Frank Rush reported there were 11 cases of the coronavirus in Big Bear as of June 15, with no new cases reported in May. The most recent cases at that time were reported June 5 and June 15.
On June 18, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a mandatory mask order for the state as the number of positive cases began to creep up. Within a few days, the increase became cause for concern. Nineteen counties were placed on watch lists, and were asked to consider using what Newsom called the dimmer switch. Suggestions were to close bars, cancel fireworks shows and slow down the re-opening. Community spread was escalating. San Bernardino County was one of the 19 counties.
On July 1, the decision was taken out of the hands of the San Bernardino County board of supervisors when Newsom ordered bars and other public places to close, as well as put an end to indoor dining in those counties that had been on the watch list for three consecutive days.
Big Bear was quick to respond, with restaurants moving operations outside, setting up make-shift patios. Free masks were handed out during the holiday weekend and the July 4 fireworks show was postponed. The city and Visit Big Bear can hold the show anytime until Oct. 31.
There are 828 new cases reported in the county today, to bring the total to 17,414. The positivity rate for San Bernardino County as of July 9 is at 10.3 percent. To move into the various stages of re-opening, the positivity rate is required to be below 8 percent. In the state, the 14- and 7-day average positivity rate is 7.3 percent. San Bernardino County reports 304 deaths due to COVID-19. The mortality rates are still high, Newsom said of the state numbers. It’s a testament to how deadly this disease is, Newsom said.
The best tools we have right now are wearing face masks, practice social distancing, don’t congregate in groups outside your immediate family and wash your hands regularly.